Raiders running back Josh Jacobs

An Updated Look At The Raiders’ Running Back Room

Every position on any given NFL roster will change a bit throughout the offseason. As we’ve seen through the years, the running back position for the Las Vegas Raiders is no stranger to that. While some familiar faces remain, the depth players have shuffled a bit. Needless to say, the room will look pretty different come next season. Let’s take a look at some running backs the Raiders have, or seem to be parting with, and analyze their new additions as well.

How are the Raiders’ running backs shaping up for 2022?

The Departures

Although he’s a fullback, Alec Ingold was still part of the Raiders’ backfield, and almost anybody involved with the Raiders in some way will miss him next year. As free agency began, Ingold signed a two-year deal worth up to $7.5 million with the Miami Dolphins. That deal will make him the second-highest paid fullback in the league, and it’s one he deserves. Ingold’s name wasn’t brought up often during games, but he was helpful in the run game last year. The Raiders will find it hard to find a way to match his production.

It’s been widely assumed by many that the Raiders and their former running back, Jalen Richard, are parting ways. Richard is still a free agent, and there is still a possibility that he could get another contract with the team. However, Las Vegas currently has four running backs on the roster. Their reluctance to bring Richard back to this point makes it seem likely that his Raider career is over.

If it is, it was a successful one for Jalen. Richard entered the NFL as an UDFA and would finish his Raiders career with the sixth most catches and seventh most receiving yards among running backs in Raiders’ history, and also the 23rd most catches. Richard was, along with Nicholas Morrow, tied for the second longest tenured player on the Raiders after being picked up in 2016.

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The Additions

The Raiders didn’t sign any big-name running backs, but they did pick up a few solid depth pieces. The first of those is Brandon Bolden, who signed with Vegas as free agency began. He got a two-year, $5 million deal. Bolden isn’t a household name, but he should fit very well on the team. He’s great on special teams and is easily capable of playing the third running back role. He’s also spent nine of his 10 seasons with the Patriots, so he knows Josh McDaniel’s offense very well, and can help his teammates learn it along the way.

Rounding out the backfield, the Raiders signed Ameer Abdullah on a one-year contract. Abdullah is a great receiving back, making him a perfect fit in an offense that will keep its running backs involved in the passing game.

The Complete Raiders Backfield

As of the time this article was written, the Raiders’ backfield consists of Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, Brandon Bolden, and Ameer Abdullah. This is simply a very talented group, with some diversity between their skillsets.

Jacobs will obviously be the lead back, and sharing some of that work will be Kenyan Drake. Jacobs will get the majority of the rushes, and it should be exciting to see how Drake is utilized in the new offense. These two should form an elite 1-2 punch. Brandon Bolden’s greatest share of work will be on special teams. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if he gets some third-down carries as well. Finally, Ameer Abdullah will likely be used mostly in the passing game, rounding out a versatile backfield.

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*Top Photo: AP Photo/Isaac Brekken

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