Last week was a rough week for running back injuries, and entering Week 13, several starters look iffy. Will there be a viable fill-in or two? It's possible, although we probably won't know before the end of the week who will get the opportunity.
The Jets and Jaguars lost their starters to injury last week. The Raiders say Josh Jacobs won't practice this week, dealing with a calf injury. That presents three different possibilities for starting backs who haven't done much to this point.
Jacobs, I'm thinking, will play. He had this calf injury last Friday, after all, and it didn't slow him down while he was blowing up at Seattle. If he's out, Zamir White would probably be the main runner, with Ameer Abdullah the passing downs option. But I'm penciling Jacobs into all my lineups for now.
With the Jets, Michael Carter (ankle) is iffy. New York calls him day to day, which is essentially meaningless; teams have held players out for multiple weeks who were day to day several times this season. Even if Carter is available, Zonovan Knight will probably play just as much, and maybe even more. He was impressive last week, and was maybe the top waiver pickup of the week. He's facing a Vikings defense that hasn't been special against the run. Knight should be solid in a committee and perhaps the clear No. 1, with Ty Johnson the backup, and maybe James Robinson active (but on the sidelines).
Finally, the Jaguars lost Travis Etienne to a foot injury against Baltimore. The Jaguars said he could have returned to the game, which is meaningless since of course he didn't, so what he "could" have done doesn't matter. Doug Pederson today said he "feels good" about Etienne playing this week. That's also meaningless. I feel good about lots of things that won't necessarily come to pass.
If Etienne is out, JaMycal Hasty should be the main back. Oh sure, Darrell Henderson is a possibility; he was drafted earlier and was starting for the Rams not too long ago. But Henderson is just a guy, who the Rams unceremoniously released and who may not yet have learned Jacksonville's playbook. Is he better than Hasty? Not a given.
Hasty has been productive with limited chances the past three seasons (mostly in San Francisco, but last week with Jacksonville). He's played over a third of the snaps eight times in those years. Here's his production in those games.
|HASTY WITH OPPORTUNITIES, 2020-2022|
It's too late to get Knight, and probably too late for Zamir, too. But those in need of a running back can perhaps still add Hasty. Even though Pederson feels good about his preferred starter being available.