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Silver Minings: Jared Cook could a have big role on Monday

Former Raiders tight end is now a weapon for New Orleans Saints

NFL: NFC Wild Card-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Jared Cook
Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

With New Orleans Saints star wide receiver Michael Thomas out Monday night against the Raiders in the first game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, we may see a former Oakland Raider play a key role.

When Thomas hurt his ankle in an eventual win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, tight end Jared Cook became the go-to option for Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees in the passing game. Cook had a team-high five catches for 80 yards in Week 1.

The Saints will have to make up for Thomas’ production. You don’t lose a player who caught 149 passes a season ago and not miss him. Thus, the Raiders will probably get a heavy dose of Cook, who had 43 receptions last season, in his first year with the Saints after signing as a free agent from the Raiders.

Cook produced with the Raiders during the 2017-18 season. He had a total of 122 catches in two season with Oakland. He was a good Raider, but, of course, Las Vegas is in good hands at tight end in the form of Darren Waller.

In other Raiders’ links:

Let’s rock: The Killers will perform the halftime show Monday night from the Las Vegas Strip.

Not a great Carr stat: PFF has Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr poorly graded in a key category from Week 1. My thoughts? So what? The Raiders won.

Ready to go: ESPN reports the Raiders are “ecstatic” about opening Allegiant Stadium on Monday.

A look at Saints’ offense without Thomas: ProFootballTalk breaks down New Orleans’ offense.

Big seller: The Las Vegas Review Journal reports Raiders’ merchandise was the sixth best selling in the NFL on Sunday.