Over the last couple of years, one of the preseason/training camp standouts for the Las Vegas Raiders was linebacker Javin White.
In 2020, the coaching staff raved about how good White looked during camp and ended up putting him on the practice squad to start the season before calling him up to the active roster for a handful of games. This past August, the former undrafted free agent was arguably the team’s best player in the preseason, allowing just 38 receiving yards and a passer rating of 72.3 when targeted while also breaking up three passes.
He also earned an 80.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus and an 88.3 mark in coverage. Those figures ranked 11th and eighth among linebackers, respectively.
However, White’s preseason ended about as badly as it could have, with a significant knee injury that forced him to start the year on injured reserve.
The Raiders and White did get good news a couple of weeks ago when he was spotted working with the trainers on the sidelines of practice. Obviously, that signaled he was going to return to the team soon but also meant that the team might have to make some difficult decisions in regards to its linebacker room.
Well, that day has come and the decision has been made, and the odd linebacker out will be the Oakland native/UNLV alumn.
Per The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, the Raiders are planning to release White but are hoping to bring him back on the practice squad.
#Raiders, I’m told, are releasing LB Javin White. Plan is to sign him back to practice squad if unclaimed.— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) November 1, 2021
The 31 other teams in the league will have 24 hours to claim the young backer once the transaction becomes official. For the Raiders’ sake, hopefully teams weren’t paying too much attention to Las Vegas this past August or don’t want to bring someone in who is coming off an injury. Then again, any team could still pluck him off the practice squad and add him to their 53-man roster until the Raiders call him up.
Marquel Lee and Patrick Onwuasor are the two linebackers who are currently on the Silver and Black’s practice squad, so one of those two will likely be on the chopping block if White clears waivers. This also means backers like Nick Kwiatkoski, K.J. Wright and Divine Deablo are safe, for now. Nick Morrow is also expected to make a return this season so more decisions could be coming within Las Vegas’ linebacker room.