The beginning of training camp for the Las Vegas Raiders has gotten off to a mostly clean start but the team does have some missing players. Right now, three running backs aren’t practicing right now. Theo Riddick and Jalen Richard are on the COVID-19 list while Kenyan Drake is on the Non-Football Injury list.
With so many running backs not able to practice right now, the Raiders decided to bring in a couple of bodies. The team announced the signings of BJ Emmons and Darius Jackson on Thursday.
As soon as the Raiders get Richard, Riddick and Drake come back, the Raiders won’t need Emmons or Jackson.
Out of the two, Jackson is the most notable. He’s been in the NFL since 2016 and has played for six other teams, including three separate stints with the Dallas Cowboys. He’s played in four career games and has a total of 16 rushing yards.
Emmons signed with the Seattle Seahawks earlier in the offseason but couldn’t keep a spot on the roster. The Florida Atlantic alumni came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent and has yet to see the field.
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Should Raiders Be Concerned About RBs?
This season, the running game is supposed to be one of the Raiders’ biggest strengths. Josh Jacobs and Drake could form one of the NFL’s best running back duos. Fortunately, Jacobs has been a full participant while Drake’s injury doesn’t appear too serious. It’s early in training camp so there’s no reason to rush him on the field.
As far as Richard and Riddick go, it’s hard to know when they might come back. Head coach Jon Gruden recently praised the team’s vaccination rates but did say there are four or fives players who haven’t gotten the shot. It’s possible that Richard’s and Riddick’s absences are linked to that information.
Derek Carr Sounds off on Vaccinations
The COVID-19 vaccine has become a hot-button topic in the NFL. Some players feel that the league is essentially forcing them to get the shot. Big names like DeAndre Hopkins would prefer not to. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was able to offer his perspective on the issue.
“I’ve been getting shots since I was a little kid,” Carr said Wednesday. “I’ve had my mom take me out of school, ‘Hey, we’ve got to go get this shot.’ I remember that as a kid. My kids, too. This one, it’s a little different because it’s new, right? The other ones — with measles, mumps, Hepatitis B, all that kind of stuff — this one is new. So people and families have certain opinions.
“And if someone wants to ask me my opinion, absolutely, I’m sharing my opinion. Absolutely. But if they don’t want my opinion, I don’t think it’s my right to go tell them what to do, as a man. Especially in America. I don’t think it’s my right to do that. If they want my opinion, I will absolutely give it, 100 percent. No problem with that. But I think it’s up to them and their family because they know what they want to do for their family. I can’t make the decisions for them and their kids and stuff.”