The Las Vegas Raiders linebacker room has been struck hard this week as Denzel Perryman, K.J. Wright, Cory Littleton, Will Compton and Patrick Onwuasor have been sent to the Reserve/COVID-19 list. To make matters worse, the New York Jets poached promising young linebacker Javin White off their practice squad, making the position even leaner. With a highly important game against the Indianapolis Colts going down on Sunday, the Raiders need all the help they can get to stop running back Jonathan Taylor.
While every linebacker currently on the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 list has a chance to play on Sunday, the Raiders can’t risk going into the game with just Divine Deablo and Marquel Lee active. The team announced that they’ve signed linebackers Justin March-Lillard and Kyle Wilber to the active roster.
Raiders fans will be familiar with Wilber as he spent the previous three seasons with the team and was the special teams captain last year. He’s mostly known as a special teams ace but has played defensive snaps for the team in the past. Though Las Vegas has a new defensive coordinator in Gus Bradley, it shouldn’t be too difficult for Wilber to catch on.
March-Lillard has moved around quite a bit in his career. The Raiders will be his eighth team. His longest stint was with the Dallas Cowboys where he spent four seasons. Similar to Wilber, he’s mostly been a special teams player. He briefly spent time with the Seattle Seahawks in 2017 so he should have some familiarity with the defense Bradley runs. In a perfect world, the Raiders won’t need either March-Lillard or Wilber to take many defensive snaps on Sunday but they’ll need them to be ready just in case.
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Raiders Make More Roster Moves
The Raiders weren’t done making roster moves with the March-Lillard and Wilber signings. The team received a bit of good news with tight end Derek Carrier getting designated for return. He’s been out since October with a torn pec so it’s a surprise that he could even return this season. If he does return, it won’t likely happen until Week 18 against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Raiders also announced that they’ve signed linebacker Asmar Bilal to the practice squad. With White headed to New York, the team had an opening on the practice squad. Bilal was with the Chargers last season so he should know Bradley’s defense well.
Lastly, Las Vegas also activated Jermaine Eluemunor, Brandon Facyson and Roderic Teamer from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. All three missed last week’s game against the Denver Broncos.
Darren Waller to Reserve/COVID-19 List
The Raiders are getting back some players but it wasn’t all good news. It appeared that there was optimism that star tight end Darren Waller could return from injury this week but he’s suffered another setback. He’s been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The only way he’ll get off the list is if he tests negative prior to Sunday’s game. That’s not likely to happen so there’s a strong chance he won’t be suiting up against the Colts.
The offense has been struggling and hasn’t scored more than 17 points in a game since he’s been out.