The good news about the annual Hall of Fame Game is that it marks the official return of football. The bad news is, well, as an exhibition, it’s not exactly the highest form of the game.
Starters or any noteworthy players expected to play a significant role in the regular season typically don’t play much in this early Canton exhibition. Because even one play in a meaningless game might spell out disaster.
That’s why, in the Raiders (-2.5) and Jaguars matchup, it was jarring to see Josh Jacobs come out for the first series and take additional carries the next time Las Vegas had the ball. Why on Earth is a 24-year-old, two-time 1,000-yard rusher playing in a game of no consequence?
Really surprised Josh Jacobs started this game and is back for a second series
— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) August 5, 2022
.@iAM_JoshJacobs making moves for the @raiders early
: @ProFootballHOF Game on NBC
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/N8g52F6fon pic.twitter.com/o6U27JlFba
— NFL (@NFL) August 5, 2022
Woof, man. Jacobs is running really hard there. What’s the deal? Shouldn’t we be saving some of this for the fall?
Oh, right. Las Vegas has a new head coach in Josh McDaniels and a bunch of other pieces trying to fit together. They might not necessarily see Jacobs in their long-term future. (Checks notes) Ah, here we are — the Raiders didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on Jacobs’ rookie first-round contract. Factor in a promising fourth-round rookie like Zamir White waiting in the wings, and it seems evident that Jacobs is not for the Silver and Black.
That turns this whole situation into a shame. You don’t see many young backs like Jacobs with plenty left in the tank, hit the trade or open market. But everyone, including McDaniels, has their own vision of what success is supposed to resemble.
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