For the second week in a row, the Raiders next opponent has traded away a key starter just ahead of their meeting. Last week it was the Bills trading defensive tackle Marcel Dareus to the Jaguars in exchange for a 6th round pick. This week it’s the Dolphins trading away Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi for a 4th round pick.
It didn’t make any difference for the Raiders last week against the Bills, so it’s not necessarily going to play a major role in the outcome this Sunday either.
Ajayi was a 5th round pick out of Boise State in 2015. In his second season in 2016, he ran for 1287 yards and 8 touchdowns, averaging 4.9 yards per carry.
This season, he’s averaging just 3.4 yards per carry, but that too may not have mattered. If you’ll recall, that’s exactly what LeSean McCoy was averaging prior to last week when he went off on the Raiders, rushing for 151 yards on 27 carries (5.6 yards per carry) and a touchdown.
Ajayi is by far the Dolphins’ leading rusher this season with 465 yards, but hasn’t scored a touchdown. Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake have combined for 22 carries for 57 yards (2.6 ypc).
Drake was the team’s 3rd round pick out of Alabama in 2016, so it would seem the team is thinking of handing over the rushing duties to him.