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

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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 first-stringers like Derek Carr, Davante Adams, and Darren Waller. He ran five times for 30 yards and caught a couple of passes before head coach Josh McDaniels explained why the veteran was in the lineup.

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

The Raiders declined Jacobs’ option for 2023, which makes it clear that they aren’t sold on his long-term future in their offense. Playing on Thursday night along with White, Kenyan Drake, Ameer Abdullah, and Austin Walter suggests they’re still putting together a pecking order for the short term because Jacobs likely would have been excused if he was clearly the lead back.

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