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Raiders preseason: Cole Fotheringham opens eyes

Young tight end has big preseason debut

San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders
Cole Fotheringham
Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

There was major change at the tight end position for the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason.

Out, of course, was Pro Bowl starter Darren Waller and his reliable backup Foster Moreau. In are veteran Austin Hooper and promising second-round pick Michael Mayer.

However, one under-the-radar returning tight end in the program stood out Sunday in the Raiders’ first preseason game, Cole Fotheringham. Yes, him.

Fotheringham was with the Raiders during last preseason after signing as an undrafted free agent from Utah. He spent last season on the practice squad and was brought back this offseason.

Fotheringham, 6-foot-4, 243, stood out against the 49ers and is clearly making strides. He had a game-high five receptions for 71 yards. He repeatedly got open and had a strong chemistry with rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell in the game. Fotheringham said this week he was pleased to go out and show what he can do,

“It felt really good,” He told reporters this week. “Yeah, I was really happy with it. Excited to get into the film room, make some corrections, and move on to next week. Should be an awesome opportunity.”

Should Fotheringham make his presence known this Saturday at the Los Angeles Rams and in the preseason finale at the Dallas Cowboys on August 26, he may have a chance to sneak onto the roster.

Mayer has been has been hurt, but he is coming along and, barring a setback, he should be ready for the season opener September 10 at the Denver Broncos. Hooper is also a lock. The Raiders also like Jesper Horsted, who has been around the program for a while. Yet, if Fotheringham continues to open eyes with big preseason performances, he could force his way onto the roster or the Raiders could risk losing him on the waiver wire later this month.

The preseason is made for players like Fotheringham and, so far, he is making advantage of it