The offseason needle continues to point due north for the Las Vegas Raiders. The organization went through an upheaval that ultimately saw them name Josh McDaniels as head coach, then go on to sign quarterback Derek Carr to an extension and stun the entire league with a blockbuster trade for All-Pro receiver Davante Adams, and now they can look forward to the return of running back Kenyan Drake to help the offense that much more in 2022.
Drake, who suffered a broken ankle in December that ended his season, was ruled out of minicamp in June as he continues to work his way back to form. But, as training camp prepares to blast off, the 28-year-old says he’s medically ready to tap in — still on track to be available when the Raiders open their regular season against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 11.
“I’m definitely going to be ready for camp. It’s not going to be full speed ahead once I get into camp, but for the regular season, I’m going to be definitely ready to go,” Drake said recently, via Silver and Black Pride.
That said, don’t rule Drake out of potentially taking any preseason snaps in August, either.
“A couple of preseason games, or however I feel need to kind of get back into football shape,” he added. “But really I’m excited about the opportunity to kind of get back on the field. I’ve been hurt for the [majority] of seven months now. … So I feel great just working through the things that you usually go through when you’re coming off a major injury, and just ready to kind of get back on the field.
“It’s not my first rodeo.”
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Drake re-enters the mix with competition abound behind incumbent starter Josh Jacobs, and that includes rookie fourth-round pick Zamir White, a national champion from the University of Georgia who stands to be his biggest competitor for the task of complementing Jacobs. Drake joined the Raiders via last year’s wave of free agency and went on to deliver 545 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns before being lost to injury in Week 13, and the Raiders look forward to seeing him return to the mix.
Having racked up more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage in his 2020 season with the Arizona Cardinals — the third of his career — Drake knows what he’s capable of when he’s healthy, and it sounds as if he’s ready to prove it in Las Vegas.