We’re almost there, Raider Nation. Your Las Vegas Raiders will enter the confines of Sofi Stadium to take on the defending Super Bowl champions. Unfortunately for Los Angeles Rams fans, their team hobbles into Thursday Night Football without many of the starts that won them that title. As for the Raiders? There are some interesting tidbits to discuss with the final injury report released before the game.
Raiders Notes: Should the Raiders limit Josh Jacobs’ snaps on Thursday?
To say Jacobs is having an incredible season heading into Thursday would be an understatement. He’s gone from being an afterthought and disposable running back to offensive MVP. It turns out that declining his fifth-year option motivated him to no end. Let’s get something straight: Jacobs is going to get paid this offseason; the question is whether the Raiders will be the ones doing it. In terms of Week 14, Jacobs had a limited week in practice prior to his remarkable outing against the Los Angeles Chargers.
This week, with such a quick turnaround, the team’s preparation consisted of walkthroughs. The concern, or rather the risk, concerning Jacobs is whether coaches should slow down his playing time this week. There wasn’t much time to recover, not just for Jacobs but for all the players who’ll be playing tomorrow. Maybe it’s best to use him sparingly; the Raiders can’t afford to have his calf issue become more serious. Of course, you know Jacobs will want to go full speed ahead, but head coach Josh Jacobs needs to tread carefully.
Any cause for concern regarding Rock Ya-Sin?
With Nate Hobbs going down earlier in the season, Rock Ya-Sin began to garner more attention. He’s arguably been the Raiders’ best cornerback ever since. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury late in the fourth quarter against the Chargers on Sunday. Now, he’s officially ruled out for Thursday night’s game. Prior to sustaining his ailment, Ya-Sin had recorded a pass deflection and two solo tackles. Fortunately, Hobbs was activated off of injured reserve recently (played Sunday), while Tyler Hall (Ya-Sin’s backup) is listed as questionable. It’ll be interesting to see just how serious Ya-Sin’s injury is. If the Raiders are serious about winning out in this final stretch, they’re going to need all of their cornerbacks healthy and ready to go.
Jerry Tillery has been a difference-maker for the Raiders
In what can be called the “Quote of the Day,” defensive end Maxx Crosby referred to his newest teammate with much endearment. “He’s a different kind of cat, but he’s a dog,” said Crosby of Jerry Tillery. Tillery’s impact has been undeniable so far. He’s given the Raiders what they essentially lacked all year: a consistent pass rush from their interior defensive line. He’s not going to have multi-sack games every week, but his ability to disrupt the middle opens things up for the others. It’s no coincidence that Chandler Jones has suddenly looked like himself since Tillery’s arrival. Now imagine if the Raiders had just listened to the fans screaming about needing this type of defensive tackle all along?
*Top Photo: Ballantyne Magazine