The third preseason game for the Las Vegas Raiders is fully underway right now in South Florida. Several news outlets had already reported that the Raiders decided to leave behind several key starters.
Raiders vs. Dolphins: Did any starters play?
Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported it before the game began. It’s not all too surprising that head coach Josh McDaniels left the status of his starters shrouded in mystery, claiming that he didn’t even know who the starters were, well-played coach.
The @Raiders left a handful of players back home in Las Vegas, including Derek Carr, Davante Adams, Maxx Crosby, Chandler Jones, Hunter Renfrow, and Kolton Miller.
— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) August 20, 2022
None of the players that the Raiders left behind have seen action in this year’s preseason. Clearly, health is on the mind of the coaching staff. The Miami Dolphins, on the other hand, were thought to be starting both Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill. However, by game time, NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe reported that Hill wouldn’t be playing, only Tua. Regardless, Tua was largely ineffective, and Raiders safety Johnathan Abram got some pressure in the first quarter, leading to a punt.
It’s not surprising to see several starters on defense from last year playing; they are, after all, trying to win starting gigs. Rock Ya-Sin and Anthony Averett started the game, while Abram and Johnathan Hankins were also out there. Ya-Sin and Averett were starters on their previous teams.
It appears that the joint practices between the Raiders and New England Patriots will be the true tune-ups for McDaniels’ team. Regardless, plenty of Raiders will need big performances in this game, especially the wide receivers. Other names worth keeping an eye on will be Alex Leatherwood and running back Kenyan Drake.
*Top Photo: Jeff Bottari/Los Angeles Times