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Raiders’ Josh McDaniels offers curious explanation for Josh Jacobs’ puzzling Hall of Fame Game usage

Raiders, Josh Jacobs, Josh McDaniels, Hall of Fame Game, Josh Jacobs Raiders

Thursday night’s Hall of Fame Game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars played out as many would have expected, with plenty of reserve players getting action in the preseason’s first game. However, many didn’t expect to see Raiders running back and projected starter Josh Jacobs out on the field playing meaningful snaps in, let’s face it, a meaningless game.

Jacobs was in for 10 of the Raiders’ first 11 offensive plays, a puzzling amount of usage for someone expected to fill such a pivotal role in the offense. After the game, head coach Josh McDaniels offered this head-scratching explanation for his running back’s usage in the Hall of Fame Game, per Tashan Reed of The Athletic.

“I always think it’s good for backs to carry the ball in the preseason,” McDaniels said. “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 rep that in practice.”

Josh McDaniels said that “it’s good for backs to carry the ball in the preseason.” It’s certainly good for players to get some preseason action, yes, but no one expected Josh Jacobs to handle seven touches in the Hall of Fame Game.

There was the potential for the 24-year-old, who has exceeded 1000 yards twice in his career, to become injured. While Jacobs could very well sit for the remainder of the preseason, it was pretty odd to see him treated like a first year pro right out of the gate.

After declining his fifth-year player option, it’s clear that the Raiders have some reservations about Josh Jacobs. Perhaps more so than people originally thought.