One of the Las Vegas Raiders‘ biggest strengths this season is supposed to be the running game. While signs are still strong, the team is losing running backs early on in training camp. Theo Riddick retired last week and now it looks like another running back is set to miss time.
According to Tashan Reed of The Athletic, Jalen Richard has a foot injury and will be out indefinitely.
Richard had already missed the early part of training camp as he was on the COVID-19 list. He’s one of the few Raiders who were on the roster before Jon Gruden took over the team. He’s become a dependable third-string running over the year. He thrives in pass protection and in the passing game. Richard doesn’t put up big stats but he’s become an important part of the offense.
Being out indefinitely could mean any number of things. He could be out for a week or the entire season. We’ll have to wait and see what the Raiders have to say on the matter. As Reed noted, the team does have five other active running backs currently on the roster.
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Josh Jacobs Hyped for Raiders’ RB Room
If Richard misses significant time, that will be bad news for the Raiders. That said, they should survive. The group of running backs is currently led by 2020 Pro Bowler Josh Jacobs and free-agent acquisition Kenyan Drake. Those two should form one of the NFL’s best duos. Needless to say, Jacobs is hyped about the team’s running back room.
“I think this is the first time I’ve been in the running back room where it’s just like crazy, since like ’Bama really,” Jacobs said recently. “I think that we know that crunch time if we need a play, I feel like we got a lot of guys that are going out there that he trusts to make a play. I feel like I’m one of them guys.”
The Raiders are going to run the ball early and often. That’s been a recipe for success for the team and they doubled down with the Drake signing. Last season, there were many times Las Vegas had to rely on the pass but that shouldn’t be the case this year.
Jon Gruden Praises Jacobs
It’s fallen out of fashion to draft running backs with first-round picks in recent years but the Raiders went against the grain when they selected Jacobs in 2019. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons so the team has to be feeling good about the pick. Head coach Jon Gruden believes that Jacobs is the key to the offense.
“Jacobs is the strength of this team, and we’ll certainly keep relying on him,” Gruden said Tuesday.
Relying on Jacobs has been successful but his body hasn’t always held up. He’s missed four games over the last two seasons and that’s why the Drake signing was important. He’ll be able to take a chunk of the workload off Jacobs and that should help him be more efficient.