Josh McDaniels on Josh Jacobs: Good for backs to play in preseason

Jacksonville Jaguars v Las Vegas Raiders

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Rookie running back Zamir White impressed the Raiders in Thursday night’s Hall of Fame Game, but his strong outing wasn’t the only notable development in the offensive backfield.

Josh Jacobs started and played the first couple of series despite a weather delay and the absence of other starters like Derek Carr, Davante Adams and Darren Waller. He rushed five times for 30 yards and caught a couple of passes before coach Josh McDaniels explained why the veteran was in the lineup.

“I always think it’s good for running backs to carry the ball in the preseason,” McDaniels said, via Tashan Reed of TheAthletic.com. “There are a lot of things that happen when you get tackled and hit that you can’t simulate in practice. I think all of our guys had the ball tonight; all of our guys caught it or received the ball and had to be tackled. We can’t really simulate that or represent that in practice.”

The Raiders declined Jacobs’ option for 2023, making it clear they aren’t convinced about his long-term future in their offense. Playing Thursday night alongside White, Kenyan Drake, Ameer Abdullah and Austin Walter suggests they’re still putting together a short-term pecking order because Jacobs likely would have been excused if he was clearly the top running back.

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