Five players hoping to burst Raiders roster bubble in final preseason game

·4 min read

Sunday is the final exhibition game for the Raiders. Days later the roster will receive its largest trim, dropping from 80 players to 53 players. That means this is the final chance many roster hopefuls will have to make a strong impression.

Remember, though the coaches have made a lot of their decisions already based largely on what they see in practice, there are still some things in play here.

First of all, injuries can change a lot of plans and open of doors for players who previously had no chance. Second, if a player plays well in the game, where other teams get a good look at them as well, the Raiders may think twice about waiving them and risking a team scooping them up.

So, it’s not over yet. Roster spots can still be earned on Sunday. Here are five players who will look to prove they deserve a spot inside that roster bubble come the final cutdown.

S Roderic Teamer

Teamer has made a regular season roster once in his career. And it was for the Chargers under Gus Bradley. Not only did he play in 2019, but he started six games. He put up 40 tackles and an interception filling in for the injured Derwin James. He would end up getting handed a four-game suspension last year, and was later cut by the Chargers. He didn’t play last season.

Last week against the Rams, Teamer showed why he earned starts with the Chargers. He led the Raiders with seven tackles on defense along with playing 16 snaps (67%) on special teams. He is just the type of player who could be held onto for his contributions as a special teamer (so to speak) as well as reserve safety. He puts up another game like he did last week, and he may just earn a job.

C Jimmy Morrissey

The team’s seventh round rookie, Morrissey has been behind Nick Martin on the depth chart throughout camp and preseason. Last week Martin didn’t exactly put a death grip on the backup center spot. He also makes $1.75 million this season while Morrissey’s salary barely registers at $688K.

Friday Jon Gruden said Morrissey has “really put himself in contention to make our team.” which is pretty non-committal. Reading the tea leaves, it sounds like developmental player. In other words, practice squad. But if Martin gets blown up a couple more times like he did in LA, who knows.

CB Isaiah Johnson

The former fourth round pick has had difficulties staying healthy. Now entering his third season with the Raiders, he just recently returned from an injury that had him all of camp prior to last week. He has some ground to make up at a position with depth.

With the current lineup, Johnson would be hard pressed to make the roster. Whether he gets in could depend on the injury status of Keisean Nixon. Gruden said Nixon is being evaluated for a leg injury. If Nixon is expected to miss extended time, that could open the door for Johnson.

WR DJ Turner

Raiders OC Greg Olson said the most difficult decisions on this team will be made at the wide receiver spot. Turner has given the Raiders plenty to think about, having led the team in catches (7) in the preseason opener, and breaking off a 23-yard punt return last week.

Turner’s a long shot to be certain. He’s either have to beat out Willie Snead or Zay Jones. Snead has seen just seven snaps on offense this preseason, suggesting they like him as the backup slot receiver. And is Jones playing some of his best football of late. Keeping seven wide receivers is hard to fathom. But Turner has looked great. And if he balls out again and is still waived, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets scooped up by another team.

RB Trey Ragas

Both the offensive coordinator and head coach have sounded very much like they think Ragas could end up being a tough cut, but a cut none the less. Ragas’s chances rested on the injury status of Jalen Richard. Gruden says Richard’s foot problem will have him out a while longer, and it could threaten his season. If Richard is indeed a no-go for the season, the Raiders would have to decide whether they want Ragas as the third back or to just go with two backs.

Ragas has looked good so far, but perhaps not enough to really draw the attention of teams around the league. Look for him to try and make that strong impression Sunday in the hopes it could get him a roster spot.