There’s been one player from the Oakland Raiders‘ 2019 NFL Draft class that’s impressed the most and that’s running back Josh Jacobs. The rookie out of Alabama has been even better than expected and is currently eighth in the NFL with 554 rushing yards. He’s on pace to easily pass 1,000 yards on the season.
With the Raiders getting inconsistent production from the wide receiver corps, Jacobs’ role has become even more important to the team. However, he’s been getting banged up in the last couple of games and had to go to the locker room to get checked out against the Green Bay Packers. He returned to the game, but it was revealed that he suffered an injury to his right shoulder. As the week goes on, his status for Week 8 isn’t looking very promising.
Will Shoulder Injury Keep Him vs. Texans?
Head coach Jon Gruden revealed after Wednesday’s practice that Jacobs is questionable for Sunday’s game versus Houston.
“He’s got a legitimate shoulder (injury),” said Gruden. “He got hurt in the Green Bay game, had it shot up. He’s still very sore and we’ll list him as questionable for the game.”
Jacobs missed practice on Wednesday and it’s now being reported that he’s nowhere to be seen for Thursday’s practice.
The team could just be holding him out and letting him get some rest before the Texans game. Questionable is better than doubtful, but it’s 50-50 he’s going to play. The Raiders won’t be too keen on overworking their prized rookie and risk him getting a more serious injury. The team only has three running backs on the roster. If Jacobs isn’t good to go, it’s very likely Oakland will add another running back. They’ve tried out LeGarrette Blount and C.J. Anderson in recent weeks. If the Raiders decide to sign either one of them, Jacobs probably won’t play on Sunday.
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Should You Still Start Jacobs in Fantasy for Week 8?
This is going to be a very tough call if Jacobs doesn’t practice on Friday and is still questionable heading into Sunday. The Raiders and Texans play the later afternoon games, which means that it’ll take longer to know for sure if he’s playing. The smart thing to do here is to add DeAndre Washington and watch the situation really closely. Jalen Richard and Washington are Jacobs’ backups, but the latter is more likely to get the bulk of the carries. Richard is more of a threat as a wide receiver.
It’s also possible the Raiders will add another running back to the mix. Depending on who it is, they could be worth a fantasy football add if you don’t trust Washington. Whoever is going to start for Oakland at running back is worth a play. They love to run the ball early and often and that won’t change if Jacobs is out. The Raiders have a dominant offensive line, so they should create some holes for whoever gets the workload.
Also, keep in mind, the team could let Jacobs tough it out this week. The schedule eases up considerably after the game with the Texans. They won’t need his services as badly once Week 8 passes.