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Raiders rookie running back Zamir White starting to come around

The fourth round draft pick had some plays against Seattle Seahawks

NFL: Houston Texans at Las Vegas Raiders
Zamir White
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Eyebrows were raised two weeks ago when Las Vegas Raiders rookie running back Zamir White was a healthy scratch at the Denver Broncos.

He was replaced by seventh-round pick Brittain Brown. White, a fourth-round pick from Georgia, had been ahead of Brown on the depth chart all year and has been expected to be the heir apparent to current starter Josh Jacobs since the day he was drafted. So, him being inactive was a surprise.

Yet, White was back on the active roster Sunday at the Seattle Seahawks and he made his best contribution of the season. While Jacobs, of course, stole the show with a franchise record 229 yards rushing (capped by an 86-yard touchdown run to win the game in overtime), White came through with 28 yards rushing on two carries.

White has 47 rushing yards on 10 carries after a strong preseason. Las Vegas offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi said this week that White is making strides.

“Zamir has done a – I think I mentioned last week when you guys asked about Josh [Jacobs] – great job of preparing and being ready to go,” Lombardi said. “Coach Kennedy [Polamalu] does a great job with that. Not only Coach Kennedy, but the running back room is a really tight knit room. They all hold each other accountable, and they really want to make sure that they’re all prepared and ready to go because you never know when your time is going to get called upon. Like in the game in Seattle, Josh was carrying the ball and needed a blow, so Zamir got in there and it didn’t change what we were doing an offense and he got a couple of touches and took advantage of them. So, credit to him. Credit to Ameer [Abdullah] doing the same thing on third down, catching a touchdown pass. He’s really kind of excelled in his role on a third down sub role. Those guys all just really pitched in – Brandon Bolden two weeks ago got in there in a couple of situations. So, I think the accountability factor from the room, and from Coach Kennedy and just the whole offense, is really something that helps Zamir grow as young player.”

Perhaps White will continue to make a contribution for the rest of this season and next season whether Jacobs, a pending free agent, is on the roster or not.