Friday's NFL: Raiders RB Josh Jacobs doubtful for Dolphins game

Josh Dubow
Associated Press

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is doubtful to play this week against the Miami Dolphins because of an injured ankle.

Jacobs missed last week's game with the injury and has been unable to practice all week, leaving his availability for Sunday in serious doubt.

The Raiders will also be without left guard Richie Incognito, who will be sidelined a third straight week with a strained calf. Incognito got hurt in practice in August. Coach Jon Gruden had been hopeful he would be ready for the opener, but said Friday the team is being very careful.

Raiders' Josh Jacobs received minor injuries and was arrested on a misdemeanor drunken driving charge after a pre-dawn single-vehicle crash Monday, near McCarran International Airport, authorities said.

Jacobs played through the injury in the opener, but the Raiders running game has struggled so far this season with injuries to the backs and the offensive line.

Las Vegas has the third-fewest rushing yards in the league through two weeks, and the running backs are averaging only 2.39 yards per carry.

Peyton Barber had 32 yards on 13 carries last week, while Kenyan Drake has 13 carries for 20 yards this season.

“We think we got to get them some better looks in the running game," Gruden said. "We misfired on some assignments. We got to play better. We got to run the ball better collectively, it’s not just the back and his statistical data. We got to block better. We got to call better plays. We got to execute better. And running the ball these first couple weeks has been obviously not good enough.”

Saints to remain down 3 assistant coaches at New England

Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielson, defensive assistant Brian Young and offensive assistant Dan Roushar will not attend New Orleans' game at New England on Sunday because of COVID-19 protocols, the club announced Friday.

It will be the second straight missed game for the trio since being among nine coaches who tested positive for COVID-19 late last week.

While one coach was able to return without missing a game, New Orleans was down eight members of the coaching staff, including five offensive assistants, during a 26-7 loss to Carolina last Sunday.

Four of the offensive assistants — receivers coach Curtis Johnson, running backs coach Joel Thomas, offensive analyst Jim Chane and offensive assistant Declan Doyle — have been able to return, along with special teams assistant Phil Galiano.

In addition to overseeing the defensive line, Nielson holds the title of assistant head coach. Young is a pass rushing specialist and Roushar is both the running game coordinator and tight ends coach.

The entire coaching staff was vaccinated before the season.

When vaccinated coaches test positive for COVID-19, they need to have two negative tests 24 hours apart before they can return to regular team activities. They are still able to attend meetings via video conference and analyze video of games and practice from the place where they are isolating.

The outbreak among Saints coaches occurred while the team was displaced to the Dallas area by Hurricane Ida, which struck southeast Louisiana on Aug. 29. The Saints cancelled their final preseason game, which had been scheduled for New Orleans, on Aug. 28 as the powerful storm approached. The NFL also moved their scheduled Week 1 home game against Green Bay to Jacksonville. New Orleans won that game, 38-3.

The Saints are scheduled to return as a team to the New Orleans area for the first time after playing the Patriots. They plan to resume practicing at their regular headquarters leading up to their Week 4 home game on Oct. 3 against the New York Giants.

That game remains scheduled for the Superdome despite a fire earlier this week that started on the stadium's roof when a pressure washer burst into flames.

Stadium officials have said a small area of the roof had minimal damage and will be fixed during previously planned recoating and repainting work. They also said the stadium remains water-tight.