Week 1 of the NFL season wasn’t pretty for the Las Vegas Raiders defense. They suffered injuries and generally didn’t play well outside of a clutch 4th down stop towards the end of the game. It appears the Raiders are already looking to bring in reinforcements.
The team announced that they are activating rookie linebacker Javin White from the practice squad.
We have activated DB Javin White from the practice squad. pic.twitter.com/tMc153K2qh
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) September 21, 2020
The Raiders accidentally typed DB but White is a linebacker. The undrafted rookie out of UNLV was very impressive throughout training camp. He was part of the final roster cuts for the Raiders because they just didn’t have enough room for him. Luckily, they were able to keep him on the practice squad. He must’ve been impressive on the practice squad as the Raiders promoted him right before the game versus a dynamic New Orleans Saints offense.
What This Means for Nick Kwiatkoski
In his first action as a Raider, linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski looked like he would be a staple on defense for a long time. He was a solid presence in the middle, which is something the team hasn’t had for years.
Unfortunately, he had to leave the game about halfway through with a pectoral injury. The injury turned out to not be as bad as originally thought but he’s still not 100%. The decision to promote White to the active roster likely means that the team isn’t totally confident Kwiatkoski will be fully healthy anytime soon. It would be a big blow to the defense if he has to miss anytime at all. White has a lot of potential but he’s not replacing Kwiatkoski. He’ll be at the bottom of the depth chart and mostly play special teams. He could get a chance to play a couple of snaps on defense if he stays on the roster for a while.
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White Looking to Prove People Wrong
As an undrafted player, White definitely has a chip on his shoulder. He was hoping to be the first UNLV player drafted in almost a decade. That didn’t end up happening but he’s got the perfect opportunity to still make an NFL career. He gets to play for his hometown Raiders and they are very good to undrafted free agents.
“I look forward to being a guy that proves people wrong,” White said in August, per Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area Newspaper Group. “Coach Gruden likes people that like nightmares. I embrace being a nightmare. I feel like I’m a nightmare myself.”
White believes his versatility causes issues for offenses.
“I think I’m a nightmare for offensive coordinators, to be honest with you,” White said. “I’m a run-stuffer. I can cover tight ends, I can cover running backs. I can do anything. You can’t pick a matchup you really want to see when I’m in the box.”
He sounds very confident for a player of his status. That’s the kind of mindset you need to be successful in the NFL. The Raiders gave Cory Littleton a bunch of money to start at linebacker this season. He was an undrafted guy who ended up being a Pro Bowler. White is in a great position to learn and eventually succeed.