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Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs almost missed the team’s 2022-23 regular-season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs when his father suffered a near-fatal medical emergency on Tuesday.
It was more than a scare as Marty Jacobs required heart surgery after experiencing unusual pain, and Saving Marty’s life was Jacobs’ six-year-old son, Braxton, who had been accompanying him and called 9-1-1, which proved to be life-saving.
Jacobs Played Through The ‘Toughest Game’ Of His Life
Though the Raiders were out of playoff contention heading into Saturday’s game against the Chiefs, the game had an added significance for Jacobs. Having to fly to Oklahoma to visit his father, Jacobs feared the possibility of missing the final game in a career year for the former first-round pick.
“My son and my dad are like best friends; you see one, you see the other,” Jacobs shared on the drama from earlier in the week. “Man, I’m just happy [my son is] really smart enough to understand what’s going on in that situation and … my pops said he’s his hero.”
Jacobs was able to fly back to Las Vegas on Friday via private jet to play, what he called, the most challenging game of his career. The Raiders ultimately lost, 31-13, to finish the season 6-11.
What mattered most was Jacobs’ father being in stable health to watch his son’s game from intensive care on Saturday.
To honor his recovering father, Jacobs wrote POPS on his eye black. He finished with 45 yards rushing.
“I wasn’t going to come back,” Jacobs said. “To me, family is always before anything. Especially with the severity of what’s currently going on.”
“This was probably the hardest game I’ve ever played,” he added. “Not in a sense of physical, just mentally trying to stay in it. Being on the sideline and having too much time to think, think about what’s going on and think about stuff and being the rock of your family is never easy when the person that’s your rock is going through it.”
A Career Year For The Former First Rounder
Jacobs is expected to finish the regular season as the rushing leader with 1,653 yards, with Tennessee’s Derrick Henry in second place (1,538).
The veteran running back, who’s entering free agency this offseason, said he felt the support from his Raiders teammates and coaches.
“J.J. knew he had whatever he wanted from us, relative to support, and we understood and respected the situation,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said on Jacobs’ situation. “And if he had chosen not to [return], I would have completely understood that. But he came back, and I give him credit, a ton of credit, for giving it a go and trying to help us win a game at the end of the season.”
“Everybody had my back with it,” Jacobs said. “That’s just the love that they’ve got for me, and I’ve got the same type of love for them.”