NFL, NFL Offseason, Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders running game turns to a familiar face

The Oakland Raiders used a first-round pick on a running back in April. Now after losing a key offseason addition, the team is bring back a proven veteran.

It looked like a very solid addition for a team that has struggled to run the football each of the past two seasons. Released by the New York Jets earlier this year, the Oakland Raiders added Isaiah Crowell to what would be a new-look backfield.

Last week, the team used the 24th overall pick on University of Alabama running back Josh Jacobs. And the day before the draft, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that running back Marshawn Lynch was done playing football.

In 2018, he finished second to team-leader Doug Martin with 376 yards on the ground on 90 carries, to go along with three touchdowns. That all came in the team’s first six games before Lynch was placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

There would be more news from Schefter.

Per a source, Crowell suffered an Achilles injury earlier this week and will be lost for the season. In five seasons with the Cleveland Browns and Jets, the solid performer has played in 77 games and totaled 880 carries for 3,803 yards and 27 touchdowns.

He was a 16-game starter for the Browns in both 2017 and ‘17 but was limited to just 13 games with the Jets a year ago.

Now NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports that the team will indeed bring back seven-year pro Doug Martin.

The one-time first-round draft choice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012 led the Silver and Black this past season in carries (172), rushing yards (723) and touchdowns on the ground (4).

But he was allowed to test free agency this offseason and wound up not latching on with anyone…until now.

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With the return of Martin and the arrival of Jacobs (along with running backs Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and Chris Warren), head coach Jon Gruden is certainly hoping to improve an Oakland ground attack that has finished 25th in the NFL in rushing yards per game each of the past two seasons.

The loss of Crowell is indeed disappointing. But the return of Martin could indeed soften that blow.

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