The NFL season is looming and the Las Vegas Raiders are taking the necessary steps to be ready. Just recently, they made a couple of moves so they can get their active roster down to 53 players.
The Raiders cut CB Prince Amukamara and placed WR Tyrell Williams on IR
The Raiders were the oldest team in the league ahead of the 2018 season. The older a roster is, the most expensive and the more injury-prone it becomes. Knowing it wasn’t sustainable, the Raiders took matters into their hands and got a facelift in the last two years. They have released plenty of veteran players and currently have plenty of first and second-year players.
Now, the Raiders are even younger after they parted ways with cornerback Prince Amukamara. They didn’t stop there though, they also placed wide receiver Tyrell Williams on Injury Reserve. While Amukamara is solid and could have been an adequate starter, Williams has been plagued with injuries in his tenure with the team.
Rookie Damon Arnette will likely take over one starting cornerback spot. After all, Amukamara and the Ohio State standout shared first-team reps in training camp. Unless Arnette can start due to his thumb injury, it didn’t make sense to keep him under the wing. The Raiders already knew Amukamara’s ceiling and want to see what Arnette can do.
Gruden explains why the team made those two moves
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden confirm that thought process in his latest press conference. ‘Chucky’ doesn’t deny Amukamara is a good player, but keeping him would have hindered the rookies’ professional growth.
“Keeping the best guys is all we’re doing. Prince [Amukamara] is a good player, I’m sure he will latch on with somebody, but we’re going to be young. I’ll be criticized for being too old. We’re going to keep the best players and try to continue to develop them.”
Raiders brass made the right move, there is no point in keeping the young players on the bench. They drafted Arnette in the first round and surely want a return in their investment. In case Arnette doesn’t play in Week 1, the team could also take a look at what Keisean Nixon and Isaiah Johnson can do.
On the other hand, Gruden also discussed the reason behind placing Williams on IR. He says the receiver could have played but he would’ve been severely hindered. It just didn’t make sense for either party, Williams could have aggravated his injury and the Raiders would have been getting a player that wasn’t 100 percent healthy.
“Ty just unfortunately couldn’t stay healthy. He had the foot problem all of last year, his shoulder does require surgery. He potentially could’ve played through it, and wear a harness, but when you have so much restrictive movement, it’s hard to catch the ball away from your body. I think we all agree putting him on IR was the only thing to do and we just hope our young wide receivers can get done with our young dbs.”
With Amukamara and Williams out, the Raiders will rely on their young players to take over. We will find out how it plays out in their Week 1 matchup against the Carolina Panthers.
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Top Photo: D. Ross Cameron/Associated Press