If you ask even the most die-hard fan Oakland Raiders fan who is suiting up for the team in this Sunday’s contest versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, they may not be able to tell you. The roster has been a revolving door since the beginning of a beleaguered season with running back Marshawn Lynch placed on injured reserve, wide receiver Amari Cooper traded to the Dallas Cowboys, and the truly head-scratching move of trading star pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears.
The Raiders roster woes continued this morning as wide receiver Martavis Byrant was placed on injured reserve, effectively ending his season. The Raiders acquired the four-year veteran in April through a trade with the Steelers who had drafted him in the fourth round.
To say he’s had a tumultuous history is an understatement. He was suspended for four games in 2015 for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and again for the entire 2016 season. The league reinstated Bryant in 2017 and, after publicly discussing his frustration with a reduced role on the Steelers’ offence, was traded to the Raiders in April of 2018. Facing a year-long suspension for yet another substance abuse policy violation, the Raiders released Bryant in September, only to re-sign him to a one-year deal a little over a week later. A knee injury sustained in the 11th November game versus the Los Angeles Chargers saw Bryant miss the next two weeks of play leading to his placement on IR this morning.
DE Shilique Calhoun was also placed on IR this morning, having already missed several games this year due to injury. A roster addition in the form of a 345-lb, 6 foot 5 inch offensive lineman came on Monday as the team claimed Denzelle Good off of waivers from the Indianapolis Colts. He’s versatile, playing both guard and tackle over the course of his 26 career games, though he’s only seen action in two contests this season. The team’s moves didn’t end there as Oakland signed veteran Defensive End Damontre Moore, the Giants third-round pick who has played for several teams, including a stint with the Raiders training camp in 2016. Moore has recorded 10 sacks and 62 tackles over 52 career games.
Bené Benwikere, the free agent cornerback released by the Arizona Cardinals in November is rumoured to have signed with the Raiders, and unconfirmed reports circulate that right tackle Donald Penn has been designated to return from IR to practice this week, hopefully being activated onto the roster to face the Steelers on Sunday at O.co Coliseum.