What do you get when you pit two teams against each other in the preseason who will face each other in less than a month? You get a lot of backups, apparently.
This week Jon Gruden was lamenting having to play the Rams twice in a month’s time. His answer is to throw the scout team at them.
By my count, the Raiders are sitting 28 of their 90-man roster today. A few for injuries, but most because Gruden isn’t going to give his protege Sean McVay any kind of preview of what he’ll face in the season opener in Oakland on September 10.
Here’s all the players who weren’t spotted among those suited up for warm-ups before the game:
Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Doug Martin, DeAndre Washington, Keith Smith, Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, Martavis Bryant, Seth Roberts, Jared Cook, Lee Smith, Derek Carrier, Kolton Miller, Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, Donald Penn, Breno Giacomini
Justin Ellis, Bruce Irvin, Emmanuel Lamur, Tahir Whitehead, Daryl Worley, Leon Hall, Marcus Gilchrist, Obi Melifonwu, Dexter McDonald
The entire starting offense is sitting. Many starting defensive players are sitting, but with several position still unsettled, many of them are suited up. Really it’s the starting linebackers plus Justin Ellis.
Most of these I understand. Kolton Miller I don’t. He needs reps to see if he’s ready to take over as the starting left tackle. Donald Penn has been working at right tackle. Whether that arrangement carries over into the regular season will depend on how each performs at their respective positions.
Second-year cornerback Gareon Conley is active as is rookie DE Arden Key, so we will finally get to see two of the most anticipated returns for the Raiders.