Raiders' Backfield Offers Interesting Cast of Candidates

First-round pick Jacobs, veteran Martin and physical Warren will compete for playing time along with Richard and Washington

There will be a battle for playing time in the Raiders' backfield in 2019.

Rookie first-round draft choice Josh Jacobs is likely to win the starting job, but veteran Doug Martin is back, as are Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington.

Then, too, there will be Chris Warren III, who is back after losing all of the 2018 regular season to injury.

In the summer exhibition season last year, Warren was outstanding. He carried 58 times for 292 yards – averaging 5 yards per carry – and ran for two touchdowns. Warren, who will turn 23 soon, played football at Texas and is the son of former Pro Bowl back Chris Warren, who played mostly for Seattle during an 11-year NFL career.

Warren is a much different back than the others on the Raiders roster, a huge ballcarrier who can punish would-be tacklers.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is excited to see what Warren can do to make this team and give his team a varied group of ballcarriers and receivers out of the backfield.

“I like Chris Warren,” Gruden said recently. “He’s 260 pounds. He can run. He had a very good preseason for us and he’s learned a lot, I think, about our offense and about this profession, and he’s got some pretty good genes. His dad was one hell of a back for the Seahawks, so we’ll see where he is. We are anxious to put him back in circulation as well.”

Another running back who was going to get a good opportunity to play was veteran Isaiah Crowell, but he suffered a season-ending injury recently. That opened the door for Oakland to re-sign Martin, whose contract had expired after 2018.

Martin, 30, led Oakland in rushing in 2018 with 723 yards and four touchdowns.

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