Since the Oakland Raiders lost rookie Johnathan Abram to injury after the season’s first game, they’ve struggled to replace him. The team has given up points in bunches since Week 1 and is currently allowing the eighth-most among all NFL defenses.
While there are talented defensive backs available via free agency and the trade market, the Raiders have mainly been targeting lesser-known names. That trend continued while the team was in London prior to their game against the Chicago Bears.
Raiders Work out DB Will Blackmon While in London
The Raiders tried bringing in Juston Burris to help add depth to the defensive backfield. However, he didn’t last long before being cut. The team has tried out several other players, but haven’t found anyone they are happy with. That hasn’t stopped them from continuing to try, though. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Raiders tried out former New York Giants Super Bowl Champion defensive back Will Blackmon.
Blackmon currently helps cover the NFL for a number of outlets and happened to be in London covering the Bears-Raiders game. The 10-year NFL veteran most recently played in the CFL for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, which didn’t last long. After is short tenure up north, he decided to retire. Blackmon only started 30 games over those 10 years in the NFL and has tallied four interceptions. Though he is versatile and experienced, if the Raiders decided to bring him on, he’s certainly not a long-term option and probably wouldn’t even see the field.
It’s hard to know exactly what Oakland has in Johnathan Abram because they’ve only seen him play one game, but all indications are that the team is excited about him. It looks like the Raiders will ride with Erik Harris and Curtis Riley to fill in for Abram for the rest of 2019.
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The Raiders Have a Strong Chance for Statement Win vs. The Bears
The Raiders started the season on an unbelievable high with a dominant win over the Denver Broncos. They then followed that up with two bad performances against the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings. Oakland was able to turn things around and pull off a win against a banged-up Indianapolis Colts team and will now face one of the NFL’s top defenses.
The Chicago Bears are currently second in the NFL in points allowed, having only given up 11.2 per game. Even Aaron Rodgers and the Packers only managed to put up 10 points against this defense. The Raiders are going to have a tough time matching up, but the Bears will be missing their starting quarterback, Mitch Trubisky. Trubisky hasn’t gotten off to a great start, so his absence is unlikely to affect that Bears all that much. If the Raiders are going to win this game, they absolutely need to shut down the Bears’ lackluster offense.
It could only take 10 points to leave London with a victory. This would be a huge win for a Raiders team currently looking to leave mediocrity in the rearview mirror. The Bears are on a three-game win streak and a victory against them could get Oakland rolling while pushing them back over .500.