The good news about the annual Hall of Fame Game is that it marks the official return of football. The bad news is, well, as an exhibition, it’s not exactly the highest form of the game.
Starters or any noteworthy players expected to play a significant role in the regular season typically don’t play much in this early Canton exhibition. Because even one play in a meaningless game might spell out disaster.
That’s why, in the Raiders (-2.5) and Jaguars matchup, it was jarring to see Josh Jacobs come out for the first series and take additional carries the next time Las Vegas had the ball. Why on Earth is a 24-year-old, two-time 1,000-yard rusher playing in a game of no consequence?
Really surprised Josh Jacobs started this game and is back for a second series
— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) August 5, 2022
— NFL (@NFL) August 5, 2022
Woof, man. Jacobs is running really hard there. What’s the deal? Shouldn’t we be saving some of this for the fall?
Oh, right. Las Vegas has a new head coach in Josh McDaniels and a bunch of other pieces trying to fit together. They might not necessarily see Jacobs in their long-term future. (Checks notes) Ah, here we are — the Raiders didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on Jacobs’ rookie first-round contract. Factor in a promising fourth-round rookie like Zamir White waiting in the wings, and it seems evident that Jacobs is not long for the Silver and Black.
That turns this whole situation into a shame. You don’t see many young backs like Jacobs with plenty left in the tank, hit the trade or open market. But everyone, including McDaniels, has their own vision of what success resembles, I suppose.
NFL fans had the same suspicions behind Jacobs' multiple appearances in the Hall of Fame Game
Josh Jacobs was a 1st round pick in 2019. Now the Raiders are giving him not one, but two drives in the Hall of Fame game 💀💀💀
— Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT) August 5, 2022
Josh Jacobs playing is interesting…
— Tone Digs (@ToneDigz) August 5, 2022
Josh Jacobs out there like he’s playing for his job. Maybe wants to show he’s the man and slow down the committee talk? 🤔#Raiders
— RaiderRamble.com™ (@TheRaiderRamble) August 5, 2022
Josh Jacobs in the HOF game pic.twitter.com/uFlIzeuA9l
— Chris ➐ (@ThisAintChrisss) August 5, 2022
Is it me reading too much into this … or is it not a great sign that Josh Jacobs is out there getting touches with all the regular starters sitting?
— Michael F. Florio (@MichaelFFlorio) August 5, 2022
Josh Jacobs playing right now is a troubling sign, indicating that Josh McDaniels hasn't learned from his first failed coaching stint in Denver.
— Frank Ammirante (@FAmmiranteTFJ) August 5, 2022
Must it mean something bad for Josh Jacobs that he played tonight? No. But it might be bad.
Is there any chance it means something good for him. No. No chance.
That asymmetry — "This might be a bad sign, and it's definitely not a good sign" — is what will make his ADP drop.
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) August 5, 2022
Josh McDaniels to Josh Jacobs before the game: pic.twitter.com/c6QTS6S5l0
— Joe Beldner (@JoeBeldner) August 5, 2022
Josh Jacobs starting in the Hall of Fame game speaks volumes.
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) August 5, 2022
Josh Jacobs playing like he’s fighting for a roster spot
— garrett (@jalenreagors) August 5, 2022
Josh Jacobs managers watching him enter the game for a second drive… pic.twitter.com/5QYcOBweFR
— NBC Sports EDGE (@NBCSportsEdge) August 5, 2022