Ex-Raiders Pass Rusher Signs to Texans’ Active Roster

chris smith

Getty Chris Smith with Hunter Henry.

A pleasant surprise for the Las Vegas Raiders this season has been the defensive line. What was once the worst group on the team has turned into a major strength. Maxx Crosby was just recently selected to this year’s Pro Bowl while Yannick Ngakoue also could’ve made the Pro Bowl with 9.0 sacks. The pass rush has been so good that rookie Malcolm Koonce can’t even get on the field consistently after notching 2.0 sacks in his first two games.

However, it was the exact opposite situation for the team last year. The Raiders had almost no pass rush and had the third least sacks in the NFL. One player to notch a sack last season with defensive end Chris Smith. He was one and off the active roster but did make some plays for the team. He’s been on the Houston Texans practice squad for most of the year but is now getting a chance on the active roster, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Smith joins fellow former Raiders defensive lineman Maliek Collins on the Texans’ active roster.

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Former Raiders Kicker Also Joins Texans

Smith isn’t the only former Raider that made a commitment to Houston this week. Kicker Dominik Eberle is signing with their practice squad, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Eberle was signed to the Raiders as an undrafted free agent before last season to bring in some competition for Daniel Carlson. Carlson ended up having an excellent year, which closed the door on Eberle having a chance to take his job. He was with the Raiders for part of the offseason but he never had a chance to make the active roster. Carlson just recently received a four-year contract extension so he’ll be the team’s kicker for a long time.

Raiders Still Making Playoff Push

To say it’s been an up and down season for the Raiders would be an understatement. The team started off 3-0, fell to 3-2, got back up to 5-2 and are now 7-7. Despite the wild season, Las Vegas remains in the playoff race. With how poorly the team has played in recent weeks, it’s hard to see them putting things together and winning the rest of their games but anything is possible.

Luckily for the Raiders, they have a winnable game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday. The Broncos will be without starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and will be starting Drew Lock. The young quarterback is 1-2 against the Raiders and has thrown four touchdowns to four interceptions. He hasn’t played well against the team and their defense is much better than it has been in recent years.

However, the Raiders offense is still a mess and there’s a chance star tight end Darren Waller is done for the year. The team doesn’t have enough weapons on offense to make up for Waller’s absence and Denver’s defense is playing at a high level right now. Sunday has the looks of another low-scoring game but the Raiders should still be able to pull off the win at home and stay in the playoff race.

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