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Raiders re-sign Brandon Marshall, waive LB Justin Phillips in corresponding move

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NFL: Preseason-Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Rather than trade picks to help their ailing linebacker unit, the Raiders decided to re-sign Brandon Marshall within an hour of Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.

The addition of a linebacker is no surprise, as the Raiders are up against the wall with no depth at the position after a multitude of injuries and Vontaze Burfict’s 12-game suspension. Adding Marshall, however, is surprising, considering that he spent the entire offseason with the team before being cut in late August.

In a corresponding move, Oakland decided to waive Justin Phillips with an injury settlement. Phillips played on a variety of special teams on Sunday, but the 24-year old will reportedly miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

The Raiders have rarely used more than two linebackers at a time on defense, operating with the Nickel package as their base set. They were forced to start Tahir Whitehead and Nicholas Morrow for 100 percent of snaps in Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Texans, and the lack of capable subs proved costly in coverage as the game wore on.

At the least, Marshall gives the Raiders a capable substitute who can play either linebacker position. He was considered to be a premier coverage linebacker during his time with the Broncos, but the 30-year old has had some of his athleticism sapped by nagging knee injuries.

The Raiders aren’t finding any long term solutions at linebacker this year barring an unforeseen free-agent addition or breakout, but Marshall should prove to be a capable band-aid for the rest of the season.