Myles Garrett won’t be the only player suspended in 2020 for using a helmet as a weapon. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Nevin Lawson of the Oakland Raiders will miss one game without pay for using his helmet as a weapon in the Week 17 game versus the Denver Broncos.
Rapoport detailed the rule which points to a player not being able to use a helmet that is “no longer worn by anyone as a weapon to strike, swing at, or throw at an opponent.”
The penalty seems to be much less stiff than the one that Garrett faced, who is still under an indefinite suspension. There hasn’t been any footage of Lawson’s hit and he was not ejected from the game. Considering he is not under contract for the Raiders in 2020, this suspension could hurt his chances of returning.
Not the First Time Nevin Lawson Has Been Suspended
This will be the second time that Lawson has faced suspension since joining the Raiders. He missed four games at the beginning of the year after failing a drug test but proceeded to return and play a decent-sized role for the Oakland defense.
Despite the original suspension, the team stuck with him and he earned five starts throughout the season. He never faced suspension before 2019, so there doesn’t appear to be any major reason for concern from a franchise standpoint.
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Any Chance Raiders Bring Nevin Lawson Back?
Lawson had a decent beginning of his career with the Detroit Lions and started 54 games before he was cut. He didn’t do much to inspire the Raiders in 2019 and his second suspension in a year doesn’t help.
Lawson is a solid veteran, but the team is really excited about the youth they have in the secondary. He is going to be a free agent, so he’s free to sign anywhere. If the Raiders decide to move on, he’ll almost certainly find a new home fairly quickly.
Raiders Excited About Isaiah Johnson
Towards the end of the year, the Raiders favored veterans like Lawson to take a bigger workload because the playoffs were in reach. Isaiah Johnson was an exciting rookie for the team, but a preseason injury slowed down his development and he didn’t get much playing time on the defense.
“Isaiah was a guy we really liked at the Senior Bowl, and he has only played corner for a year and a half,” Raiders defensive back coach Jim O’Neil said, via The Atheltic’s Vic Tafur. “He was a heavily recruited wide receiver. We loved his length, size and how football smart he was. He had a great training camp and then he broke his face.”
He’ll have a better chance to see more snaps in 2020 with more experience under his belt.
“When you miss eight weeks as a developmental player who hasn’t played the position a lot, it’s hard,” O’Neil said. “When we played him, he was up and down. He had a couple of good plays and then a couple of not-so-good plays. We challenged him and he is showing development and growth. He just needs to keep going. We really like the upside.”
Between Trayvon Mullen, Johnson and Keisean Nixon, the Raiders are very young at cornerback. Considering the team has struggled in the secondary for many years, they should be excited about all the young potential on the roster.