Raiders: Josh Jacobs should sit for the remainder of the season

Oakland Raiders (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Oakland Raiders (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

The Oakland Raiders have identified their running back of the future in Josh Jacobs. With the current season lost, it might be wise to rest him for the remainder of 2019.

Josh Jacobs was a noticeable absence during the Oakland Raiders‘ loss to the Tennessee Titans.

He’s been one of the consistent silver linings each and every week of the season thus far. While he likely wouldn’t have been the difference in Sunday’s blowout loss, watching his development from one week to the next has been something to look forward to.

Jacobs has put together over 1,200 all-purpose yards on the season. He’s shaped the Raiders offense. And he’s been one of the top offensive weapons in the NFL overall.

All in all, it’s been a season of small victories made by Josh Jacobs.

Unfortunately, small victories are only small victories.

The Raiders need to be wise when it comes to how they manage Josh Jacobs for the remainder of the season. That might just mean sitting him for the rest of the year.

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Jacobs had reportedly been playing with a fractured shoulder since Week 7. His most recent MRI came back clean, but he’s listed as being questionable for Week 15 and was limited at practice this week.

There’s plenty of reports saying that Jacobs might be available to play. There’s plenty of reasons why it might seem like playing Jacobs is the right call.

It’s the last game that the Raiders will be playing in Oakland before heading out toward the desert next season. Josh Jacobs should be a part of that.

Jon Gruden has been optimistic in his assessment of how Jacobs has looked at practice. He’s at least given the impression that Jacobs should be ready to go.

And to top it all off, if there was a team to beat up on in terms of running game, the Jacksonville Jaguars would be it.

But the season should be looked at as a whole. As a whole, the season’s likely lost.

The Raiders would have to not only win out, but also get some much-needed help from other teams around the league to keep their season alive.

It isn’t completely impossible, but it means wagering the potential long-term health of a budding star running back for the slimmest of shots.

Jacobs’ shoulder injury does not appear to be nearly as serious as it might have seemed when reports of the injury came out about two weeks ago. But it’s still something to think about.

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Every hit is a liability.

Jacobs was noticeably frustrated on the sidelines last Sunday. We’ve seen his commitment to the success of the team, and he’s been a consistent calling card that has won the Raiders games this season.

At this point, Jacobs has nothing more to prove this season. He’s made his impact. He’s earned his place for next season. Now it’s time to prioritize next season.

Staking Jacobs’ availability next season and beyond does not seem worth it.

The likelihood is that Jacobs will still get a chance to play this weekend. His role may be limited given the above thought process, but Jacobs, himself, says that he plans to play.

It’s what you’d expect from a guy who’s been playing with a busted shoulder.

But don’t be surprised if the Raiders’ higher-ups decide against leveraging Jacobs. Not in an emotional final home game. Not when playoff hopes are all but gone.

The Raiders could find a way to win out with Josh Jacobs taking the field, sure.

But they’d still need both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans to lose out. That’s a lot to ask from the football gods.

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So instead, a request for Josh Jacobs’ health in 2020, might be better suited.