Josh Jacobs is the first Oakland Raiders rookie in franchise history to rush for 1,000 yards, and the 21-year-old running back made the feat even more impressive by revealing on his Snapchat on Monday (h/t Vic Tafur of The Athletic) that he has been playing with a fractured shoulder for the past five weeks.
Head coach Jon Gruden confirmed to reporters Monday that Jacobs has been playing through the injury:
"He's fighting through a shoulder himself. 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."
Quarterback Derek Carr also praised Jacobs on Wednesday:
Matt Kawahara @matthewkawahara
Carr on Josh Jacobs playing w/ shoulder injury: "If Josh wasn’t able to play I would completely understand with what he’s dealing with. But the fact that he keeps suiting up and ... running with the style he runs with, I don’t think enough can be said about that guy." #Raiders
Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area shared more details about Jacobs' injury:
"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 finished the Green Bay game with 124 yards on 21 carries. He has five 100-yard rushing games this season. Three of them have come since he suffered the shoulder injury, and the latest was on Dec. 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs, making him one of the few bright spots in the Raiders' 40-9 loss.
Jacobs enters Week 14 ranked fourth leaguewide with 1,061 rushing yards on 218 carries. His seven rushing touchdowns are tied for eighth, and he has maintained a bruising running style despite nursing his shoulder injury:
Oakland selected Jacobs with the 24th overall pick in April. In three seasons at Alabama, Jacobs rushed for 1,491 yards and 16 touchdowns and added 571 yards and five touchdowns as a receiver across 40 collegiate contests.
With Jacobs in the backfield, the Raiders have improved their 25th-ranked rushing offense from 2018 into a tie for 10th with the Cleveland Browns.
The 6-6 Raiders will host the 7-5 Tennessee Titans on Sunday.