The Las Vegas Raiders‘ trade for Davante Adams ruled the day on Thursday, but the team remains busy filling out its 2022 roster. It appeared the team was set at running back after signing free agent Brandon Bolden, but Las Vegas added another running back, this one with ability in the return game.
The Raiders announced Friday that they have signed Ameer Abdullah. Former Raiders linebacker Will Compton’s “Bussin’ With The Boys” podcast reported the news Thursday on Twitter.
Abdullah, who will be 29 when the 2022 season starts, has been in the NFL for seven years after getting picked in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions. He became a dual-threat option for Detroit, amassing over 500 rushing yards and 25 catches in two of his first three years. He eventually signed with the Minnesota Vikings, who released him in October 2021, when he joined the Carolina Panthers. Abdullah can make an impact in the rushing and receiving game, but the Raiders could also use him as a returner. He was the NFL’s leader in kick-return yards in 2015 with 1,077 yards on 37 returns. In 2021, he had 646 yards on 29 returns.
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Will Raiders Keep 4 Running Backs?
With the Raiders signing Abdullah, they now have four running backs under contract in 2022, as he joins Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake and Bolden. Teams typically don’t carry so many running backs on the roster once the regular season starts. So who will be the odd man out if the Raiders have to make a cut?
Right now, Abdullah would likely be the first to get the ax because Jacobs is a 25-year-old Pro Bowler and former first-round pick and Drake, 28, is a dynamic playmaker with one year left on his contract. Bolden, 32, played all but one season under head coach Josh McDaniels when they were both with the New England Patriots. Given his familiarity with McDaniels’ offense and his positive presence in the locker room, it’s hard to imagine he’d get cut.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Abdullah has no chance to stick around. The Raiders could use him as a return man, which would help him keep a roster spot. If not, he could always stick around on the practice squad.
Raiders Sign Alec Ingold Replacement
The first controversial roster move McDaniels made since taking over the Raiders was letting go of fullback Alec Ingold. He was a team captain and a fan favorite, according to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Plus, he did a lot of great work in the Las Vegas community.
It appears McDaniels wanted to bring in a player he was more familiar with. The Raiders announced Thursday that they’d signed former Patriots fullback Jakob Johnson.
Johnson spent the last three seasons in New England under McDaniels, so he knows the offense very well. He could be an asset for McDaniels as he teaches his offensive scheme to the team. Fullbacks have fallen out of fashion in the NFL, but McDaniels is a fan of using them. Johnson has never had a rushing attempt in an NFL game, but he has caught 13 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown in three seasons.
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