Isaiah Crowell will miss the 2019 NFL season with a torn Achilles’, and the Oakland Raiders have an opening at running back. Marshawn Lynch is reportedly interested in a reunion, provided Jon Gruden and Co. are.
Before the Oakland Raiders drafted Josh Jacobs out of Alabama in the tail end of the NFL Draft’s first round, Isaiah Crowell was penciled in as the tentative starting running back. The free agent signing hasn’t been the most consistent rusher, but he’s occasionally blown up for 200-yard games and showed a nose for the end zone with six rushing touchdowns in 2018 for the New York Jets.
Unfortunately, Crowell, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, tore his Achilles’ tendon during a team workout. Since he only signed a one-year deal, his future with the Raiders beyond 2019 is in doubt, and it is a sad situation for him.
The Raiders have already found a veteran replacement in Doug Martin, as first reported by the NFL Network’s Mike Garofolo, who had 723 rushing yards and over 100 receiving yards for the Raiders slumping offense last season.
But the Raiders could also reunite with another veteran running back who took snaps for them last season.
According to sources close to the NFL Network’s Steve Wyche, Marshawn Lynch, a former 1,590-yard rusher, is interested in returning to Oakland to play for his hometown team. That is, of course, if the Raiders are interested in working with him.
Lynch is 33, but the bruising running back and former Seattle Seahawks star remained effective last season. Like Martin, he averaged a decent 4.2 yards per carry and finished with a solid 62.7 yards per game before suffering a season-ending injury.
The Raiders have Martin, all-action running back Jalen Richard, primarily a pass-catcher, and DeAndre Washington as the main backups behind rookie Josh Jacobs. Lynch had a better season than Martin last year and is still a better pure rusher than either Richard or Washington, but it may be best to give Jacobs as many snaps as he can handle in his first season.
That said, it is awfully hard to turn down effective, veteran help from a fan favorite like Lynch. Jon Gruden has shown a soft spot for veteran players, such as Martin, so this is a situation to monitor.