ALAMEDA — Raiders running back Josh Jacobs spoke to the media Friday for the first time since revealing he was playing with a shoulder fracture and addressed his absence last week as well as his intention to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“It’s all right,” Jacobs said. “My plan is to go.”
Coach Jon Gruden was guardedly optimistic his leading rusher would be available when the Raiders host the Jaguars Sunday in the last game for the franchise at the Coliseum.
“He got work all three days,” Gruden said. ‘I think that’s a good sign. I don’t know how much he’ll play, don’t know 100 percent that he will play, but it does look pretty good.”
In the week leading in to the Tennessee game, Jacobs in a Snapchat post said his shoulder had been fractured and he’d been dealing with it since Week 7, an Oct. 20 game against the Green Bay Packers. Gruden said Jacobs has been getting pain-killing injections each week to play.
Last week, however, Jacobs said the recovery process was slower than usual.
“Normally, it’ll take to Thursday and it’ll be like, `It’s all right,’ and I can move. It just took the whole week last week,” Jacobs said.
While teams usually frown on players being specific regarding their injuries, Jacobs, citing the nature of the running back position, didn’t see where making the information public would make much difference.
Whether the injury can be made worse by playing is a risk Jacobs sounds willing to take.
“It’s football. You can say it can’t get worse and anything can happen,” Jacobs said. “You never know. But I know it’s something I won’t need to have surgery on, so that’s a positive note. But after the season I’ll have to sit a month and a half just doing nothing, letting it heal.”
Jacobs said it’s not the first time he’s played with a fracture, citing an ankle injury late in his sophomore season at Alabama. Jacobs’ workload was considerably less than it was as a junior or now with the Raiders, where he has already carried 218 times for 1,061 yards after having 251 carries for 1,451 yards for his entire three-year college career.
In his last two games as a sophomore, Jacobs carried just three times for eight yards against Clemson and Georgia in the college football playoffs.
“I played with a broken bone in my ankle the whole year my sophomore year and had surgery two days after the championship game. I’m kind of used to it,” Jacobs said.
Gruden said Jacobs was in tears when it was determined he would not be cleared to face Tennessee. Jacobs said he felt his teammates were able to pick up the slack in his absence.
“I feel like the biggest thing was feeling like I let the team down,” Jacobs said. “Being a competitor, you don’t like watching. But the running back group held it down. At the end of the day, I didn’t feel too bad about it.”
Jacobs said he is focused on playing the final three games.
“Regardless of the record, just try to come in and implementt the right things, obviously get the win for Oakland this week,” Jacobs said. “Just trying to finish off strong and on a high note to where we want to start off next year with things to work on.”
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