Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs has officially been declared out for the team’s monumental Week 17 matchup against the Denver Broncos.
Jacobs has missed two of the Raiders’ last three games with a shoulder injury and despite most expecting the team to shut him down for the season, the rookie still managed to play in Week 15.
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But on top of the shoulder injury, Jacobs ran into some more misfortune this week.
The 2019 first-round pick underwent surgery to remove a skin infection on Wednesday night which initially put his status for Sunday in doubt.
He was officially listed on the injury report as dealing with both the shoulder injury and the skin infection — labeled as an “illness” — and was given a “doubtful” designation before being downgraded to “out” on Saturday.
Jacobs’ loss is obviously a huge blow to a Raiders team somehow fighting for their playoff lives on Sunday. Against a Broncos team that still has a stout front-seven, Jacobs’ presence would be much-needed as the Raiders look to find stability on offense.
Without him, the Raiders will be forced to once again rely on the duo of DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard in the backfield. Washington, in particular, has made the most of his increased opportunity in recent weeks and seems to have emerged as the preferred back.
He rushed 23 times for a season-high 85 yards and a touchdown in last week’s 24-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. Meanwhile, Richard has seen more than 40 percent of the offensive snaps just once this season and is the clear-cut No. 2 running back behind Washington with Jacobs out.
Even if the Raiders manage to pull off the victory in Denver, they’ll still need plenty of help. The exact parameters required for a postseason berth could be found here, but rest assured it isn’t an easy path at all.
And that path gets a lot more difficult without Josh Jacobs.
The Raiders will need all the help they could get from other teams around the league to stun the football world and miraculously make the playoffs.
And they’ll now need help from some of the unheralded players on their roster to take care of business themselves.