Raiders' McDaniels downplays Jacobs' surprising HOF game appearance
Lead running backs almost never play in the preseason due to fear of injury, but the Las Vegas Raiders weren't afraid of putting Josh Jacobs on the field during Thursday's Hall of Fame game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
For new Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels, Jacobs' surprising first-quarter appearance was about getting the rusher some reps.
"I always think it's good for backs to carry the ball in the preseason," McDaniels said, according to NFL.com's Kevin Patra. "There's a lot of things that happen when you're getting tackled and hit that you can't simulate in practice. I think all our guys had the ball tonight."
Jacobs played two drives Thursday, finishing with 30 yards on five rushing attempts to go along with two catches for 14 yards. The 24th overall pick in the 2019 draft is entering the last year of his rookie contract. Las Vegas declined the fifth-year option on his deal in April.
The 24-year-old rushed for 1,150 yards (4.8 per attempt) across 13 games as a rookie but hasn't sustained that production. He put up 1,065 yards and 12 scores in 15 contests in 2020, though he averaged only 3.9 yards per carry.
Jacobs registered 872 yards (four per attempt) and nine touchdowns on the ground last year to go along with 54 catches for 348 yards.
Veterans Kenyan Drake and Ameer Abdullah, as well as 2022 fourth-rounder Zamir White, are also competing for snaps in the Raiders' backfield. White posted a solid outing in Thursday's 27-11 victory over the Jaguars, amassing 74 yards on 14 touches.