LAS VEGAS — It’s another game week, which means more questions about the injury status of Raiders running back Josh Jacobs.
His availability, however, is seldom in question.
Jacobs has played through plenty of pain this season. This week, entering the team’s season finale, he’s coping with hip and oblique injuries as the Raiders prepare to host the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday at Allegiant Stadium (1:30 p.m., ABC, ESPN).
Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said Wednesday he would have to wait and see if Jacobs will be able to play against the Chiefs.
“We’ll be smart with him obviously,” McDaniels said. “I’m not sure how many more words I can find to describe what he’s done — tough, dependable, prepared really hard every week. He’s been durable. He’s had the ball more than any other player on our team, clearly, and he’s really done a great job of keeping himself healthy and available all season long even though he’s been banged up a number of different times.”
Jacobs usually meets with the media on Wednesdays, but was not at the team’s practice facility for personal reasons.
After Sunday’s 37-34 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Jacobs said he had a responsibility to do everything he could to be ready to play.
“Like I tell these guys, I wouldn’t be able to look them in the eye if I know that I could play or give it everything I had and I don’t do it,” he said. “That’s the type of person I am, and that’s the type of respect that I have for them. So I lay it out there every time I can.”
That included against the 49ers.
Jacobs injured his oblique on the game’s first play from scrimmage and had to go the locker room. He returned in the second quarter and finished with 69 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.
Nothing new there.
Jacobs entered the Nov. 27 game at Seattle questionable with a calf injury and wasn’t cleared until shortly before kickoff. All he did was total 303 yards from scrimmage, including 229 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Those TDs included an 86-yard burst up the middle for the touchdown in overtime of the 40-34 victory over the Seahawks.
He was listed as questionable again the following week against the Los Angeles Chargers, but rushed for 144 yards and a TD in the 27-20 victory.
“When you’ve got a guy like Josh that obviously has the pinkie and the calf he battled through … that’s what I expect from him now after knowing who he is,” wide receiver Davante Adams said. “It’s not something you can expect from just anybody, though.”
Even with all the injuries, Jacobs leads in the NFL with 1,608 yards rushing — 160 more than Cleveland’s Nick Chubb.
Marcus Allen in 1985 was the last Raider to lead the league in rushing when he gained 1,759 yards. That also is the franchise high, so Jacobs has a shot at that record.
Not bad for a player whose fifth-year option wasn’t picked up before the season. Jacobs has performed like someone playing for a big contract, and his production has given the Raiders — and 31 other teams — something to think about.
The Raiders could put a franchise tag on Jacobs to make sure he stays in Las Vegas at least one more season. A franchise tag guarantees a player will make the average of the five highest-paid players at his position or 120% of his current salary. The move also restricts a player’s mobility.
The contract situation will be one of the storylines to watch, and Jacobs knows it won’t be the only one.
“The locker room’s going to look a lot different next year,” Jacobs said. “You don’t know who’s coming back and who’s done with football and whatnot.”
Adams prefers to stay
When the Raiders last week benched quarterback Derek Carr for the final two games, some of the speculation turned to Davante Adams’ future. The two are good friends and former Fresno State teammates, and Adams made it known he wasn’t happy to see Carr benched, signaling a likely move.
The Raiders likely will move on from Carr, but Adams said Wednesday his preference was to stick with the team he grew up cheering for.
“I wouldn’t have ended up here originally if Derek wasn’t here, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that I won’t be here in the event he’s not here,” Adams said. “My dream was to play for this team before he was a Raider. At this point, I want to try to make this thing work and continue on doing what I’m doing here.”