One of the most surprising developments from the Hall of Fame game on Thursday was the usage of Josh Jacobs. Most of the key starters didn’t play on offense and that included Derek Carr, Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, etc.
Not only did Jacobs start the game, he played the first two series. In fact, Jacobs saw seven touches in a meaningless preseason game on a slippery field.
So what should be the takeaway from that observation? Are the Raiders unhappy with Jacobs? Were they trying to showcase him as a possible trade target?
In a recent article by Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus, he explained why you shouldn’t overreact to Jacobs playing multiple series in the Hall of Fame game.
“Jacobs received significant playing time over the Raiders’ first two drives, playing in 10 of the first 11 snaps. It was odd to see him play this much in the Hall of Fame Game when so many other players rested, but that doesn’t mean his playing time will necessarily decline.
It would have been much more concerning if he rotated more during his two drives. Instead, there was a rotation of backs playing after him on early downs.”
The Raiders plan on using a heavy rotation of running backs this season, but Jacobs will still be at the top of the depth chart. And by the way the Raiders used him on Thursday, he will likely still get 12-16 touches a game.
But the bigger takeaway was that Jacobs looked good. He averaged six yards per carry on his five rushes and looked like the player we saw early in the year in 2021. While this might not be a career year for Jacobs, he looks ready for whatever role the Raiders want to give him this season.