Who will be the Raiders’ primary running back in 2019?
At this point, it’s anybody’s guess.
The team’s No. 1 back of the past two seasons, Marshawn Lynch, is unsigned and coming off an injury that cut short his 2018 season. Plus, he’s 32. Doug Martin, who took over the bulk of the rushing duties late in the season, is 30 and also unsigned for this season.
General manager Mike Mayock said Wednesday the Raiders are waiting on Lynch to make a decision about playing next year, and that will trigger what direction the team will go at running back.
“The reality with Marshawn is obviously he’s still coming off an injury,” Mayock told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Mayock addressed the media at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. “I think he’s still trying to figure out what he wants to do. And obviously, we’d be open to potentially having him back, depending on what his position is.”
Head coach Jon Gruden, speaking Thursday morning in Indianapolis, said the team wants to know how Lynch is responding after surgery to repair his injured groin.
“The coming weeks will give us a better indication where he is physically,” Gruden told Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Before being injured, Lynch was having a good season. In six games, he carried 90 times for 376 yards – a 4.2-yard average – and three touchdowns. He also caught 15 passes for 84 yards. In 2017 with Oakland, Lynch played 15 games, rushed for 891 yards (4.3 average) and seven TDs, while catching 20 passes for 151 yards.