Raider rookie running back Taiwan Jones practiced at full go Tuesday for the first time in a few weeks. He was injured early in camp and missed practice as well as the first two preseason games, but he has confirmed that he will play in the Raiders’ third preseason game this Sunday against the Saints.
When asked if he would play on Sunday, Jones responded with a resounding, “Definitely… I’m sure I will.”
Jones grew up in nearby Pittsburg, California, and will be playing in his first game for his home team Raiders, which as you can imagine, is very exciting for him.
“I’ve been trying my best to stay level. It’s only [Tuesday], and I’m already getting emotions and getting excited. I’m going to just stay calm until game day… I got drafted local. There should be a lot of people in the stands for me.”
In practice today, he played like he was ready, and was as elusive as advertised — so much so that yesterday Darren McFadden said he looked like “lightning.”
Said Jones, “It always means something when you have a veteran player like Darren McFadden, when they can see the talent that I’ve got. Just taking notes from them and taking their advice, it’s good to have those leaders in front of you.”
But in this practice he even showed a little power. The Raiders lined up in goal line drills to start practice and twice in a row, he punched through the line for a touchdown.
Being a goal line back is not really what Jones is known for, but as he says, “There are a lot of naysayers saying that I can’t run up the middle and stuff like that, so that’s definitely something I’m here to prove.”
Many fans are excited to see him suit up for the first time, as are his friends and family who will be in attendance. But their excitement pales in comparison to the excitement Jones is feeling right now.