Former CFL running back William Stanback facing uphill battle for roster spot with Las Vegas Raiders

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The odds have become increasingly stacked against William Stanback making the Las Vegas roster amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Raiders running back depth chart has seen additions since the 2019 CFL all-star signed with the silver and black in January.

Incumbent No. 1 running back Josh Jacobs rushed 242 times for 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns with 20 receptions for 166 yards in his first NFL season. Jacobs was selected in the first round, 24th overall during the 2019 NFL draft.

Lynn Bowden was chosen in the third round, 80th overall during the 2020 NFL Draft, veterans Jalen Richard and Rod Smith as currently on the active roster, and on Monday Las Vegas officially signed Jeremy Hill. Meanwhile Devontae Booker is on the reserve-COVID-19 list.

The six-foot-one, 235-pound Hill is seen as a power back who could compliment Jacobs. Over his five-year career, Hill has appeared in 55 NFL games, making 43 starts, carrying the ball 708 times for 2,898 yards (4.09 yards per carry) and 29 touchdowns, while also adding 68 receptions for 490 yards and one additional score.

Stanback is a physical six-foot-three, 233-pound runner. He rushed for 1,048 yards — third most in the CFL — and five touchdowns on 6.2 yards per carry with 33 catches for 329 yards in 14 games last season. The 26-year-old did receive a six-figure signing bonus which is an indication of the Raiders’ belief in the talented back.

General manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden were high on Stanback, but the additions to the backfield, especially Hill with lots of NFL experience, combined with pre-season games being removed from the schedule this year has made it an uphill battle for Stanback.