Updated December 26, 2019 - 4:10 pm
ALAMEDA, Calif — Running back Josh Jacobs posted a video of himself on social media late Wednesday night from a hospital room with a comment: “surgery went great fastest surgery ever”
With Jacobs distinguishing himself as one of the Raiders’ most valuable assets during his rookie season, the whole episode caused quite the Christmas night stir. By Thursday morning, there was clarity.
The Raiders released a statement that said Jacobs woke up Wednesday with discomfort in his leg, was evaluated and treated for a “superficial skin infection.”
Raiders coach Jon Gruden joked Thursday, “I don’t study social media so I wasn’t aware of any of the social posts,” but he did reveal that Jacobs has a skin infection.
Jacobs’ status for Sunday’s season-finale against the Denver Broncos remains in question, although that was the case prior to surgery as Jacobs is still dealing with a fractured right shoulder blade. The injury has sidelined Jacobs in two of the last three games, including last Sunday’s win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Gruden indicated that Jacobs skin infection will not impact his availability for Sunday’s game.
“(The infection) will have nothing to do with his playing status,” Gruden said. “We’re anxious to see how he is (Friday)”
Gruden did not seem particularly pleased that word of Jacobs’ surgery began circulating on social media and that it was Jacobs who released the information. Typically in those situations, especially during the season, the team makes those disclosures.
When asked if he has a preference for how things like that should be handled, Gruden said: “I do have a preference…but I can’t comment on that right now.”
Jacobs, who has rushed for a franchise rookie record 1,150 yards on 242 carries, did not practice Thursday. Gruden stressed that his absence was related only to his shoulder injury and not the surgery he underwent the night before.
“His shoulder is the issue,” Gruden said. “Unfortunately he does have a skin infection, and that, I think, will be okay. It’s the shoulder. It’s been the shoulder, it is the shoulder and that’s the area we’ve got to take a good look at.”
The Raiders (7-8) are mathematically alive for the last AFC Wild Card berth, and the presence of Jacobs can help their cause. To advance to the playoffs, they need to beat the Broncos and for the Steelers, the Titans and the Jaguars to lose. In addition, they need one team to win among the Lions, Bears, Patriots or Chiefs.
DeAndre Washington (23 carries, 85 yards and a touchdown) and Jalen Richard filled (four catches for 18 yards) in admirably for Jacobs is last Sunday’s win over the Chargers. Both will figure prominently against the Broncos if Jacobs is not able to play.
Washington, in particular, is taking advantage of his opportunity.
“He’s always had a nose for the end zone, whether it’s running the ball or pass game,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “He’s caught a few touchdowns close down there before, so he just has a good feel finding the end zone and I think it’s just when you find someone that’s hungry.
”He’s getting a shot, right? And every time he gets his number called that close, it’s like ‘I better go run this thing in before they call something else’.”