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Raiders rookie report: Load increases and will continue to

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NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, the Raiders deployed nine rookies. Some of whom saw increased roles as the team shifts more toward evaluating the young talent they have in preparation for the offseason.

Here is what the rookies did last week.


  • Kolton Miller
  • P.J. Hall
  • Brandon Parker
  • Arden Key
  • Nick Nelson
  • Maurice Hurst
  • Johnny Townsend
  • Trent Sieg
  • Daniel Carlson
  • Jason Cabinda


  • Marcell Ateman

Kolton Miller

Another sketchy outing for Miller, giving up a sack, a QB hit, and three pressures. He aggravated his knee injury last week against the 49ers but was removed from the injury report for this game so he must’ve been full go.

P.J. Hall

Hall saw 24 snaps (43%) against the Chargers and didn’t record a stat. He didn’t make a play of any note in the game. Complete non-factor.

Brandon Parker

Like his rookie linemate, Parker has been pretty bad. He too gave up a sack. He also gave up a run stuff for no gain. And on 4th and 5, with the game on the line, Parker let Melvin Ingram go right through him to pressure Derek Carr who then panicked and through the ball into the turf.

Arden Key

Week six in London against the Seahawks, Key got his first career sack. He still has just that one sack to his name. He gets pressure here and there and on a team so devoid of pass rush, he added a QB hit to bring his season total to 8 QB hits which leads the team by a wide margin.

Nick Nelson

Nelson saw his snap total go up again this week. He played 24 snaps (43%) and wasn’t a liability. His big play was making the tackle for no gain on third and 11 to hold to Chargers to a field goal late in the fourth quarter.

Maurice Hurst

Finally, the team’s sack leader is someone still on the team. Hurst got his third sack Sunday to tie him with former Raiders pass rusher Bruce Irvin for the team lead. Hurst has been a steady positive performer and rare bright spot for this Raiders team. He can’t carry this defense, so his contributions can go relatively unnoticed. This team needs him to be one of the building blocks.

Johnny Townsend

Out of nowhere, Townsend had an outstanding game Sunday. He had a 42-yard run off a fake, a career best 57-yard punt, and a career best game average of 54.0 yards per punt. Each of his punts traveled over 50 yards and twice the Chargers started drives inside the 20. After his horrid 41.9 yards per punt in the first eight games, we’re going to need to see a lot more games like this one to be sure it wasn’t a fluke.

Jason Cabinda

Solid outing for Cabinda, who got the start at middle linebacker. He played 20 snaps (36%) and finished with 3 tackles. He was also solid in coverage, and was in position to make the tackle, but was held and the penalty called back a huge touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Trent Sieg

All conditions normal for Sieg. No news is good news for the long snapper.

Daniel Carlson

Two field goal attempts, two makes. The first from 46 yards out, making for his longest made field goal as a Raider. He has made 3 of his 4 field goal attempts since joining the Raiders three weeks ago. His lone miss was from 45 yards out off the right upright.

Next week there figures to be even more of a rookie presence. Marcell Ateman will see his first game action and the team called up undrafted rookie receiver Saeed Blacknall from the practice squad, though it seems unlikely he will be anything but insurance.