Josh Jacobs woke up on Wednesday with a pretty pleasant surprise. From the moment he started his day, he noticed something unusual. And it was not so much what he felt as what he was not.
Pain, to be specific.
While the Raiders running back checked his normal body this time of season, there was no normal pain or throbbing or pain that he normally deals with. Given that he was coming out of three games in a row after losing weeks 2 and 3 with injuries to his toe and ankle, it was almost a cause for celebration that for the second week in a row he was feeling well.
“I have not had two weeks in a row since I was in the league where I came out of the games with nothing like no scratches, nothing,” Jacobs said. “This is the first time I feel good.”
The key is to keep it that way. That’s why the Jacobs may have been the happiest player on the field on Sunday when running mate Kenyan Drake finally managed to cross for the Raiders with an 18-meter run and a 31-yard TD catch.
This may seem unusual given that Jacobs and Drake play the same position and it would be natural if one wanted all the touches.
But it is quite the opposite for Jacobs, who prompted the Raiders to sign him off-season and pushed Drake to accept the offer.
He had personal and selfish motivations.
On the one hand, the bond in Jacobs and Drake in Alabama has resulted in a close friendship that is developing over the years.
“This is really my dog,” Jacobs said.
On the other hand, after facing injuries in the first two years, especially at the end of the season, Jacobs knew it was necessary to add a group to the backfield.
Someone who can play about it and sometimes instead. The objective was to create a two-headed running monster in which the drop between start and reserve would be minimal.
But it would also help maintain Jacobs’ health so that he would be in his best condition for longer periods. Especially in November and December when the playoff contenders start separating from the contenders.
Hence the passionate case he made to add Drake to the off-season. And also the memories he gives to the offensive coaching staff to make sure they get into Drake on game day.
“I tell them, I do not want this to be a show for one person. My body does not want this to be a show for a man, do you feel me? Said Jacobs. “So I tell them, include it.”
This is hit and miss, with Drake walking long untouched. But that could change now that Greg Olson has taken over the duties of the games following the resignation of coach Jon Gruden last week.
Olson made a point to include Drake more, and Drake took advantage. He is up to 98 meters rushing in 28 passes and 15 catches for 177 meters.
“I just try to make the most of my opportunities,” Drake said. “Every time my number is called, whether in the return match, the passing game, the running game, this is what I am here for. So that’s what I hope to continue to do over the course of the season. “
His biggest fan is good with that.
“Just seeing him succeed and make him enter his role on the team has been great,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs does not have a particularly strong start, rushing for 175 meters in 54 passes. And his 3.2 yards per carry is much better than his career average of 4.2.
But there are good reasons for the slow start.
Jacobs has been dealing with injuries to his toe and ankle from the start. And the offensive line has tried to find a rhythm. The result meant a lot of Jacobs runs that were doomed from the start after opposing opponents met him behind the scrimmage line.
But the line is coming out of her best game Sunday in Denver.
“We’re finally getting a lot of guys who are getting a lot of movement,” Jacobs said. “There were some shows where we were not touched for 5 meters, things like that. It was definitely a step in the right direction. ”
Contact Vincent Bonsignore at email@example.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.