With the tight end position thin, the Raiders made a move this week to bring in a reinforcement; signing former Seahawks tight end Cooper Helfet to the practice squad and releasing linebacker Darnell Sankey.
Helfet is in his fourth NFL season. The Redwood California native appeared in 23 games over the past two seasons, accumulating 25 catches for 315 yards and two touchdowns.
At 6-4, 240 pounds, he isn't quite the bruising blocker the team lost when Lee Smith went down with injury. That loss had the Raiders putting in Denver Kirkland as an extra blocker last Sunday against the Chargers.
Though he is more established than undrafted rookie Ryan O'Malley who the Raiders called up from the practice squad last week with Clive Walford also going down with an injury, leaving just Mychal Rivera -- who had been inactive the first three games of the season -- as the lone healthy tight end on the roster.