Eddie Vanderdoes never suited up for Jon Gruden. The last time the defensive tackle suited up for the Raiders was 2017 in what would be Jack Del Rio’s last game as Raiders head coach.
It was the final game of Vanderdoes’s rookie season. The former third round pick out of UCLA made it through all 16 games and was back playing in Los Angeles when he tore his ACL. Del Rio was fired after the game and Gruden was officially hired days later.
ACL tears usually take 4-6 months to heal, which would suggest that perhaps Vanderdoes could return in time for the 2018 season. He didn’t. Gruden spoke of Vanderdoes several times, hoping that his and Justin Ellis’s return would bolster the defense for the stretch run. Ellis returned. Vanderdoes did not.
Come the 2018 training camp, it appeared as if finally Gruden was going to see if Vanderdoes could live up to his hopes for him. He suffered a concussion on the first day of camp and never returned. By the final roster cutdown, Vanderdoes was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.
Tuesday, his time with the Raiders officially came to an end as he was waived from injured reserve. He went unclaimed and today he is a free agent.
Who knows if Vanderdoes will be able to latch on somewhere, but he didn’t do much in the 16 games he played with the Raiders. He had just 18 combined tackles as a rookie despite starting 13 games.
The Sacramento area native was one of the top recruits in the nation when he chose UCLA. Injuries contributed to weight gain and a disappointing career for the Bruins. He was selected in the third round by the Raiders mostly on potential he had only showed in flashes in college and he was instantly put on a weight loss plan in the hopes he could recover some of the inside pass rush ability that he was supposed to bring to Westwood. The weight loss program appeared successful, the pass rush abilities never really materialized, and the injury bug returned once again putting a stop to any progress he may have made in those other areas.