As the Las Vegas Raiders make their final decisions on their 53-man roster before the deadline Saturday at 1 p.m. PT, the tailback position is one of the positions being most discussed.
“A lot of tough decisions are going to be made here in the next 24 hours,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Friday. “I think the running back position is one of them, but just great competition across the board … We got a lot of tough decisions to make here. So, when we get our roster cut down then we’ll focus on the (running back) personnel groupings that we’re going to use in this opening game (Sept. 13 at Carolina).”
The Raiders have been tinkering behind starting tailback Josh Jacobs for months and have made some moves in camp, including cutting Rod Smith and William Stanback and adding former Detroit running back Theo Riddick.
The Raiders, who would like to add a big running back as a backup, will likely consider adding at the position in the coming days after the final roster cuts are made.
Currently, the backups at tailback are Jalen Richard, Riddick, Devontae Booker and rookie Lynn Bowden Jr. The Raiders will likely keep five running backs (including fullback Alec Ingold), but they could keep as many as six, but that may unlikely.
Olson said Bowden has been brought along slowly as he transitions from being a receiver and quarterback at Kentucky to mostly being a running back with the Raiders. It would be a shock if he is cut and the same goes for Richard.
The final spot could go down to Riddick, who is a fine pass catcher and is healthy after siting out last season, and Booker. Whatever happens Saturday, I’d expect the Raiders to continue to consider bolstering their depth behind Jacobs.