While the Las Vegas Raiders’ 43-6 defeat at the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday was a total disaster ... in the big picture, we may have seen a significant development.
Rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was tied for the most snaps at his position with veteran Nelson Agholor at 42 snaps. Slot receiver Hunter Renfrow was right behind them at 41 snaps.
#Raiders' offensive snap counts in Week 12: Miller 63, Parker 63, Jackson 63, Hudson 63, Waller 61, Good 59, Carr 52, Ruggs 42, Agholor 42, Renfrow 41, Jacobs 38, Booker 22, Edwards 19, Witten 17, Jones 13, Ingold 11, Peterman 11, Moreau 8, Omameh 4, Carrier 1— Anthony Galaviz (@agalaviz_TheBee) November 30, 2020
Ruggs’ lack of involvement in the offense has been a season-long issue. The Raiders drafted the speedy receiver from Alabama with the No. 12 overall pick and they said he would be a major part of the offense and he has been a starter since Day 1, although he has missed two games due to injury.
Yet, Ruggs hasn’t produced or been targeted much for the majority of the season. He entered last week as the 13th most-targeted rookie receiver in the NFL. That is pretty stunning considering he was the first receiver taken in this receiver-rich draft.
Ruggs, who returned kicks the past two weeks because of an injury to Jalen Richard, played 33 snaps against Kansas City. Despite his increased snaps, the Raiders still aren’t using Ruggs much.
Quarterback Derek Carr did go to Ruggs deep twice early at Atlanta. He made a beautiful catch near the goal line on one and probably should have hauled in the other. He had three catches for 56 yards on five targets (tying his season high) at Atlanta.
For the season, Ruggs has 17 catches for 312 yards in nine games. He has been targeted 31 times. The fact that Ruggs is getting increased snaps and targets, so the Raiders are determined to get him more involved down the stretch.