Although the Oakland Raiders were flat-out dominated by the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13, running back Josh Jacobs still managed to enjoy another stellar performance in the 2019 NFL season.
Jacobs served as one of the few bright spots in the 40-9 loss to Kansas City by running for 104 yards on 17 carries. As a result, he has now become the first rookie in franchise history to rush for over 1,000 yards.
Perhaps even more impressive is that Jacobs has not experienced any kind of drop-ff while dealing with a lingering shoulder injury he suffered back in Week 7 of against the Green Bay Packers. Regardless, that does not mean it has gone unnoticed.
Jacobs provided a glimpse into the recovery that goes into him being a workhorse back on a weekly basis, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports:
Josh Jacobs is as tough as they come, battling through a shoulder injury while maintaining high-level production. From his Instagram stories pic.twitter.com/XVOheg2jxi
— Scott Bair (@BairNBCS) December 3, 2019
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden confirmed that Jacobs is still dealing with the shoulder and is proud of how has been able to manage it so far:
“He’s fighting through a shoulder himself,” Gruden said Monday. “You know, a lot of the things that these guys are doing behind the scenes go unrecognized. He hurt his shoulder in the Green Bay game. So, we’ve tried to be smart with him. But what a great competitor he is. He’s going to be one of the best complete backs in all of football, I believe.”
There is no question that it is promising to see Jacobs is capable of handling the grind that comes with serving as the central force of this offense. It is safe to say that he has fulfilled every expectation the Raiders had when they took him with the 24th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Of course, it is for these same reasons that the Raiders may need to consider taking a cautious approach with Jacobs’ workload heading into the final stretch of the 2019 NFL season. They made quite the investment to make him their workhorse back and will need to ensure that he is not enduring too much wear and tear so early in his career that could become an issue down the line.
Jacobs has already proved his status as an every-down back thanks to his complete skill set. The onus will ultimately fall on Gruden to make sure that the offense does not become too reliant on him having to take a beating, especially now that the playoffs are seemingly out of reach.