The Raiders face a daunting defense this weekend when they travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings in a pivotal Week 3 matchup.
Minnesota's defense is one of the best in the NFL, so it will be imperative for quarterback Derek Carr and the Raiders to get out to an early lead and force Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins to play from behind.
Part of the Raiders' recipe for success is feeding running back Josh Jacobs early and often, but that plan might be in jeopardy.
On Thursday, the rookie running back posted a photo to his Instagram story noting he's been sick this week and has lost 10 pounds.
Josh Jacobs’ latest Instagram stories post: pic.twitter.com/TGUJEdVOeQ— Scott Bair (@BairNBCS) September 19, 2019
After carrying the ball 23 times in Oakland's Week 1 win over the Denver Broncos, Jacobs only toted the rock 12 times in the Raiders' Week 2 loss to the Chiefs. Jacobs left the loss for a bit to get an IV, and has been battling a groin injury, so this is another reason to be concerned about his overall effectiveness come Sunday.
Any workhorse back losing 10 pounds is going to be a big deal, but it's magnified when going up against a stout defense like the Vikings' unit.
Should Jacobs be limited in the Twin Cities, head coach Jon Gruden will have to rely on Carr's arm and the combination of Tyrell Williams and tight end Darren Waller to get the Silver and Black a much-needed road win.
While this might make the Raiders less likely to pound Jacobs in between the tackles, it could be an opportunity to integrate him into the passing game where he has the hands and moves to thrive.