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Holder’s Handful: Johnathan Hankins traded, Neil Farrell Jr. gets a bigger opportunity, Week 8 injury report and more!

Everything you need to know for the week

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders
Johnathan Hankins
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders are looking to keep the momentum going in their Week 8 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. However, the Raiders will go into battle without someone who’s been a mainstay on their defense over the last five years, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.

With next week’s trade deadline looming, Las Vegas sent Hankins to Dallas which, naturally, has led to questions within the fanbase as to who will take charge of the run-stuffer’s role. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham spoke to the media earlier this week and said that Bilal Nichols and Andrew Billings are the team’s starting defensive tackles, but he’s been very impressed with what he’s seen from rookie Neil Farrell Jr. in practice.

“Any snaps earned on the field, how we do it here, is based on practice,” Graham said. “And so, he’s had an emergence on the practice field. When we talk about the idea of practice execution becoming game reality, that’s what we are looking for. And he’s worked really hard at practice, and it’s been encouraging. He knows he has a lot of room to grow, and that’s the case for most of us out there, but the thing is you’ve seen it in practice.”

I made sure to go over that situation, the Week 8 injury report for the Raiders and Saints, all of the important news stories for the week and answered your mailbag questions on this week’s podcast.

Topics Discussed:

  • Hankins trade and a handful of practice squad transactions
  • Graham goes over the defensive line rotation
  • Josh McDaniels weighs in on the offensive line’s growth
  • Andy Dalton under center for New Orleans
  • Flu bug in Vegas
  • Any trade rumors on either side of the trenches?
  • Let’s start talking about Josh Jacobs’ contract extension...
  • Has Thayer Munford earned the starting right tackle job?
  • & more!

To have your questions answered on a future episode, either tweet them at me, @MHolder95, or email them to

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