For much of the 2019 season, the Oakland Raiders’ offense has relied heavily on running back Josh Jacobs. The leading candidate for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has been even better than advertised since the Raiders drafted him in the first round out of Alabama.
Unfortunately, Jacobs has been dealing with a significant shoulder injury in recent weeks. While he was able to play through it for a few games, he was forced to miss Oakland’s Week 16 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers.
That allowed backup DeAndre Washington to see extended playing time though, and he made the most of it by carrying the ball 23 times for 85 yards and a touchdown, also adding a pair of receptions for 21 yards in the Raiders’ 24-17 victory.
Washington is set to be hit free agency at the end of this season, so he was happy to be able to showcase his skills not only to the Raiders, but to the rest of the league, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports:
“I think it was a big opportunity being able to showcase myself not only to the coaching staff but also to the rest of the league,” Washington said. “I wanted to show that I can carry the load.”
Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson was among those that came away impressed with Washington’s performance:
“We were excited coming out of the game because we didn’t know, you just don’t know what you’re going to get at times when a guy hasn’t played,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “He has been a role player for us. He hasn’t really had a chance to tote the rock for an extended period of time. So, to me, it was a great evaluation game as a coaching staff to be able to evaluate him in big football game.
“He came out of it where he got the support of the staff and the support of the head coach and the support of the entire organization. We were really happy with how he ran the ball and how he protected in the passing game and how he caught the ball coming out of the backfield. It was a good day for DeAndré Washington and couldn’t be happier for him.”
While it is not official yet, Jacobs will likely be back in action for the Raiders’ Week 17 game against the Denver Broncos as they look to sneak into the postseason with a win and some other favorable outcomes throughout the league.
Even if Jacobs is able to play though, he won’t be 100 percent healthy, so it is nice to know that the team has a quality backup like Washington to spell him when needed.