Keelan Doss wants to show he belongs with Raiders after whirlwind week

Josh Schrock

ALAMEDA -- It was a wild week for undrafted rookie receiver Keelan Doss. 

The "Hard Knocks" star was cut by the Raiders during cutdown day and chose to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars' practice squad over the Raiders'. 

Then, Antonio Brown happened. As you're aware. the star receiver went nuclear after receiving fines for missing practice and a walk-through during his helmet grievance, which led to an altercation with general manager Mike Mayock. A subsequent fine for the Mayock dust-up that voided the guaranteed money in Brown's contract caused him to ask for and receive his release from the Raiders. 

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With a spot on the 53-man roster open, the Raiders made a play to bring Doss back, but the UC Davis product initially rebuffed their offer, accepting more money from the Jaguars to stay in Jacksonville. The Raiders kept on Doss, though, and eventually gave the receiver a $300K signing bonus along with the $495K salary and Brown's spot on the 53-man roster. 

After a whirlwind week, the Alameda kid is happy to be home. 

"Crazy, you know?" Doss said Wednesday when asked about his week. "Just being back and forth from here and Florida. It's been a crazy week, but happy to be here, ready to contribute and go out there on Sundays and make plays."

Doss has become a celebrity due to his run on "Hard Knocks" as the undrafted, local kid. The Raiders are happy to have Doss back in the fold, and coach Jon Gruden is hoping everything works out now that Doss is back in Silver and Black. 

"Look he's not the first guy to get cut and put on practice squad," Gruden said Wednesday. "So let's not make this 'Hard Knocks' themed, all right? I mean, he's not the first receiver that we have cut or that any other team has cut and brought back to their 53. So now, what it is is what it is. Here's an opportunity and with some receivers beat up a little bit, he may get his chance this week."

"But it is a great story, but the reality is: This is part of the NFL," Gruden continued. "You have to take advantage of your opportunities when they come and I'll say this: We're the team that's given him his first shot in the NFL and his first shot on the active 53. So hopefully it all works out and it ends up to truly be a happy story for everyone." 

Doss also noted how special it was that the Raiders are the first team to give him a crack to prove he has NFL talent. 

"One-hundred percent, it means a lot," Doss said. "Coach Gruden, you know -- I'm just trying to make plays obviously and give the impression that I belong here. Just coming out here every day and just proving it."

Doss' rise to cult celebrity hasn't been lost on him, but with HBO exiting stage left, Doss is focused on the only thing that matters: sticking with the Raiders.

"The past like three days have been crazy," Doss said of people being interested in his story. "Obviously, it's been on the internet a lot. But I try not to pay to much attention because, you know me man, I just have to focus on my job and come out here and make plays."

[RELATED: Gruden directs all AB questions to Patriots amid lawsuit]

With Doss rebuffing the Raiders' first attempt to pry him away from Jacksonville, the question remains why he finally chose to return to the Raiders and take Brown's spot on the 53? As Gruden said, it comes down to who gives Doss the chance to prove he's an NFL player.

"Opportunity," Doss said. "Obviously, I have a good feel here and just ready to go. Like I said, I'm just happy to be back here and hopefully make plays on Sunday."

With J.J. Nelson nursing an ankle injury, Doss' time might Sunday when the Raiders face the Kasnas City Chiefs. Now, it's up to Doss to reward Oakland's faith. 

Keelan Doss wants to show he belongs with Raiders after whirlwind week originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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