In a brief press conference Friday, head coach Jon Gruden announced that RB Josh Jacobs will be out Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jacobs missed all three practices during the week with toe and ankle injuries.
With Josh Jacobs out, RB Kenyan Drake will have an expanded role, with recent addition RB Peyton Barber seeing more opportunities as well. An additional RB will likely be elevated from the practice squad for the Week 2 matchup.
“It’s an opportunity for Peyton Barber. We really like Barber,” Gruden said. “We think he’s a heck of a back. Coming from Tampa, I’ve had a chance to really get behind the scenes on him. I like the way he runs and catches and picks up blitzes. And Kenyan [Drake] will continue to play a role in our system no matter who the other back is. We’re excited about this opportunity to see what we have.”
On a positive note for the Raiders, DE Yannick Ngakoue is expected to play against the Steelers despite injuring his hamstring in Monday night’s win against the Ravens. Ngakoue was limited in practice this week and is officially listed as questionable.
“[Ngakoue] looks pretty good,” Gruden said. “He looks pretty good. We expect him to go.”
Ngakoue turned in a strong performance Monday night in his Raiders debut. DEs Maxx Crosby, Ngakoue and Carl Nassib consistently pressured QB Lamar Jackson in the Monday night win. The trio likely would have recorded more sacks if it weren’t for Jackson’s exceptional mobility.
Ngakoue’s availablity is a good sign for the Raiders pass-rushing outlook against Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, who was 18 of 32 passing with 188 yards and a TD against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1.
LG Richie Incognito, LB Nick Kwiatkoski, QB Marcus Mariota and S Roderic Teamer were all ruled out. DE Carl Nassib and DT Darius Philon are also questionable.
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