Sometimes there is a downside to participating in NFL offseason programs. Running back Isaiah Crowell felt the wrath of his hard work on Tuesday. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Crowell suffered an Achilles tear that is likely to keep him out for the rest of the season. Now, the Oakland Raiders will be without their prized free agent running back for the 2019.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for a team that just lost running back Marshawn Lynch to retirement. Crowell signed a one-year deal with the Raiders for $2.5 million dollars. He had a legitimate chance to earn the starting position during his sixth NFL season. Although Crowell has started 51 games in his career, he’s never had an opportunity to fully carry the weight of the ground attack. It may not have happened this season, but Crowell would have been a candidate to go over 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career.
Crowell came close in 2016 when he ran for 952 yards and 7 touchdowns with the Cleveland Browns. Overall, Crowell has 3,803 rushing yards in the NFL. He averages 4.3 yards per carry. Yet, Crowell only played 13 games during his first and only season with the New York Jets. He did average a career high 4.8 yards per carry in limited duty. However, the Jets signed Le’Veon Bell to a multi-year deal during free agency. The impending move left Crowell expendable. He seemed to find a nice spot with the Raiders.
The Raiders have insurance at the running back position. Remember, they selected Josh Jacobs with the No. 24 pick in the first-round of the 2019 NFL draft. All of a sudden, Jacobs appears to be a viable candidate to win the starting running back job. Yet, he will have plenty of competition in that area. In all, the Raiders have five running backs 26 years old or younger.
It will be interesting to see if Chris Warren III can make an impact with the Raiders. The big back has a lot to prove on the NFL level. However, if he is able to remain healthy, the Raiders could unleash a hidden gem in 2019. The Raiders also have Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. Richard has big play capability. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry last season. Richard also caught 68 passes in 2018.
Therefore, the news of Crowell’s achilles injury is personally devastating, but the Raiders have options to fill the role this season.