Raiders Sign Massive Former Seahawks Starting OL Fresh off Suspension

dj fluker

Getty D.J. Fluker lifting Rashaad Penny.

Though the Las Vegas Raiders have put together a solid season so far, the offensive line remains a major concern. Quarterback Derek Carr has been under pressure for most of the season and has been sacked 17 times, which is the sixth-most in the NFL. The group showed a bit of improvement against the Denver Broncos in Week 6, allowing just two sacks, but it’s far too early to say that the offensive line has figured things out.

This deep in the season, starting-caliber offensive lineman aren’t readily available. However, the Raiders may have found a player who could start some games if they need him to. According to Pro Football Chase, the team has signed veteran offensive lineman D.J. Fluker to their practice squad.

Pro Football Chase referred to Fluker as a guard but he also has experience playing right tackle. The eight-year veteran was just resinated after serving a six-week suspension. He spent some of the offseason with the Miami Dolphins but was placed on Injured Reserve after undergoing surgery for a torn meniscus. He was released during training camp. He appears healthy now and could have a quick path to the active roster if Alex Leatherwood and Brandon Parker struggle.

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Fluker Could Have Role for Raiders

Over his eight-year career, Fluker has started games for the Chargers, Giants, Ravens and Seahawks. He’s started in 96 career games at right guard and right tackle. That kind of experience could be very helpful for a young Raiders offensive line.

Leatherwood and Parker improved in Week 6 but it’s unclear if that will be sustainable. The Raiders have a long season ahead of them and need to figure out long-term solutions for the offensive line. Fluker could end up being the answer at right guard or right tackle, if necessary.

Derek Carr Praised Offensive Line After Broncos Win

derek carr

GettyLas Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr.

The offensive line has been a major talking point for the Raiders all year. The team blew up last year’s unit by trading away three starters. Andre James at center has been a massive downgrade from Rodney Hudson. Leatherwood has been able to stay healthier than former right tackle Trent Brown but has already been switched to right guard. That could be a permanent move going forward. There are still concerns regarding the offensive line but quarterback Derek Carr was happy with what he saw from them against the Broncos.

“I thought they did a great job. I think we had two sacks, but … it wasn’t on them. Especially against that front,” Carr said after Sunday’s game. “If we keep that up, hopefully we can build on that.”

The Raiders’ offensive line is young so it’s natural that they’d improve over the season. This group will likely never be as good as the unit we’ve seen the last two seasons but that doesn’t mean they can’t at least be serviceable. The offensive line has been the team’s biggest weakest so even just being serviceable would be good news.

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