ALAMEDA -- Josh Jacobs is a tough, physical rusher who doesn’t shy from contact. That’s clear watching the Raiders rookie running back work. He fights for extra yards, handles a heavy workload and doesn’t complain.
Jacobs would have a right to, considering he’s breaking records with a bum shoulder. He injured it back in Week 7 at Green Bay, when Jacobs trucked Packers safety Adrian Amos after turning upfield. The rookie went back to the locker room, took a painkilling injection and finished that game strong.
The 21-year-old is limited almost every practice week, and then comes off the injury report and plays like there’s nothing wrong. Jacobs is also producing like there’s nothing wrong, with yet another 100-plus-yards performance on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jacobs exceeded 1,000 rushing yards in 12 games and celebrated it with a shrug, more concerned about wins than anything else.
Coach Jon Gruden certainly appreciates Jacobs’ effort and willingness to play through pain in a season where he’s on pace for 288 carries and 312 total touches. That’s a massive sum for someone who wasn’t a feature back at Alabama and currently is battling through injury.
“He’s fighting through a shoulder himself,” Gruden said Monday. “You know, a lot of the things that these guys are doing behind the scenes go unrecognized. He hurt his shoulder in the Green Bay game. So, we’ve tried to be smart with him. But what a great competitor he is. He’s going to be one of the best complete backs in all of football, I believe.”
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His toughness was never questioned, but appreciation for Jacobs' efforts increased after he posted a photo of his shoulder iced up with his arm in a sling on his Instagram story.
Josh Jacobs is as tough as they come, battling through a shoulder injury while maintaining high-level production. From his Instagram stories pic.twitter.com/XVOheg2jxi— Scott Bair (@BairNBCS) December 3, 2019
Jacobs also posted on his Snapchat that he fractured his shoulder back in Week 7 and has been playing through a painful injury that would sideline many.