Every time the wind blows, you’ll find Jacoby Ford headed for the trainer’s room.
After a promising rookie season with the Oakland Raiders, the young wide receiver has struggled to stay on the field the last two years while battling numerous injuries.
He put together a healthy offseason and made it through the first two days of training camp without any issues, but left the field early on Sunday and never returned after suffering an undisclosed injury. While the coaching staff doesn’t think it’s a serious concern, it’s not very promising for a player that missed all of 2012 with a Lisfranc injury.
Ford has since stated that his surgically-repaired foot is back to 100 percent, but an early injury at the start of training camp isn’t a good sign of how he’ll hold up throughout the 2013 campaign. Two Lisfranc injuries in a row prove that durability could be a career-long issue for the Clemson product.
Since the Raiders snagged the speedy receiver back in 2011, Ford has done nothing but impress – when healthy. During his rookie campaign, he caught 25 passes for 470 yards and two touchdowns while also contributing 155 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He was a tremendous deep threat – something the Raiders have sorely missed – averaging 17 yards per catch in his career.
His real impact, though, came on kick returns. In his first two seasons, Ford averaged 25.3 yards per return while reaching the endzone on four different occasions.
For a fourth-round pick, Ford created an exciting amount of sparks for the Raiders. The only problem is that he can’t stay on the field long enough to make a lasting impact. Since joining the Raiders back in 2010, Ford has played in only 24 of 48 possible games. That’s not the type of durability a slumping Oakland roster needs heading into what should be a painful 2013 season.
Ford may be one of the fastest players in the NFL, but it doesn’t matter if he can’t stay healthy for the Raiders.