Fullback Alec Ingold is the Las Vegas Raiders version of the Invisible Man.
The 6-1, 240-pound Ingold was signed by the Silver and Black as a free agent out of Wisconsin in 2019 and is listed as a starter, but the day after Raiders games when you look in the box score it often seems like he didn’t even play, even though he usually is on the field for much of the day.
His name often is not on the stat sheet and it doesn’t faze Ingold in the least bit.
“It’s about knowing my job and understanding that my body is a huge part of what we’re trying to do here,” said Ingold, who was the Raiders’ 2020 nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which recognizes outstanding community service. “Down the road, if there’s running backs, if it’s tight ends, whoever it is–injured, needs help–I need to be able to step up for the team and be ready for those opportunities when they come.”’
Ingold is used to it.
After playing quarterback at Bay Port High School in Suamico, Wis., and being selected Wisconsin Player of the Year, he originally planned to attend Northern Illinois as a quarterback, but later accepted a scholarship from Wisconsin, where he started out as a linebacker.
Then Alec Ingold became a fullback and gained 343 yards on 103 carries, a 3.3-yard average, and scored 17 touchdowns including six as a senior, during his four-year career. He also caught 14 passes for 185 yards, a 13.2-yard average, and four touchdowns, preparing for his Raiders career by serving primarily as a blocker.
After seeing him in the Senior Bowl and at the NFL Scouting Combine, the Raiders signed him and he’s become the lead blocker for running back Josh Jacobs, who has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons with the Silver and Black, plus a pass blocker and safety-valve receiver for quarterback Derek Carr.
“I love that guy (Ingold),” Coach Jon Gruden said. “I don’t want him to hear me say that, but I really deep down like that guy a lot. He’s what the (fullback) position is all about.
“ … If I’ve done anything right since I’ve been (back) here coaching the Raiders, it was the recruiting call I made to Ingold.”
Ingold rushed 10 times for 17 yards and caught six passes for 44 yards and a touchdown as a rookie, and last season he carried only three times for four yards and caught 12 passes for 110 yards and another score.
While his stats might look bad, that’s not where his value lies. He led fellow rookie Jacobs to 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games, and last year Jacobs added 1,065 yards and 12 scores.
“We love playing ball,” Ingold said of playing alongside Jacobs. “We’re competitors and we know what’s at stake. Josh is the mail carrier for this team and this organization and it’s no secret to anybody. The way that guy loves playing football and competing is why he doesn’t want to take a week off.
“Every opportunity we get on a Sunday is freakin’ gold. It invigorates you. It excites you. That’s what page we’re on in the running backs room. We love playing football.”
Ingold also enjoys playing in the backfield behind Carr and protecting his quarterback on passing downs.
In fact, he is irate with the criticism the Raiders quarterback has received.
“When you have a quarterback like Derek and a leader like Derek and a guy who puts us in the right situation to win ballgames like Derek does, it’s tough to keep reading about how he’s on the way out and how someone else is coming in,” Ingold told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Look, Derek is going to be the first guy to say he doesn’t listen to it. He doesn’t buy into it. And in the business of football, he’s going to give all the right answers and be polite and everything. But as his teammate, that guy does pretty much everything right, and he still gets hated by some people in spite of that. And that’s tough.
“That doesn’t make sense to me. Because he is the guy. In our locker room, there is a sense of pride that we have our guy and we’re gonna ride with our guy. By the way, he plays. By the way, he competes. By the way, he leads. There is a sense of confidence around here that Derek Carr is our quarterback.
“ … The bottom line is, I believe Derek can take this team and this organization to a Super Bowl.”
And Ingold is simply happy to play his nearly invisible role.
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