The Las Vegas Raiders have needed help on the defensive line after Maliek Collins got hurt and Daniel Ross was released. They may have found it in the brother of a former starter for the team. The Raiders announced the signing of rookie defensive tackle Lee Autry to the practice squad.
Autry is the brother of former Raider Denico Autry, who now plays for the Indianapolis Colts. Denico played four seasons for the silver and black and was part of the team that made the playoffs back in 2016. He had 2.5 sacks that season.
Lee Autry is shorter but weighs more than his big brother. Denico is more of a defensive end while Lee is a defensive tackle. He played college football at Mississippi State and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Bears in the offseason. He’s bounced around on a couple of teams and might actually have a shot to get some playing time with the Raiders.
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Marcell Ateman Cut
In order to make room for Autry, the Raiders had to cut wide receiver Marcell Ateman. The team had too many wide receivers on the practice squad, to begin with, so letting one go makes sense. However, Ateman has stuck around the team for three seasons now. He was part of Jon Gruden‘s first draft class since returning to the team.
The wide receiver has even gotten a decent amount of playing time. He’s opportunities to earn a spot on the roster but hasn’t ever taken great advantage of it. He had five catches last season for 116 yards. While the Raiders are letting him go now, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s back on the roster at some point within the next year.
Raiders Are Facing Denico Autry This Week
Coincidentally, the Raiders are set to face Denico Autry this week as they are hosting the Colts. He’s been a lot more effective for Indianapolis. He had a nine sack season in 2018 and is in the midst of a six sack season. He’s developed into a solid pass rusher for the team. Autry is one of a few pass rushers the Raiders let get away who have had success elsewhere.
The Colts weren’t always known for their defense thanks to having Peyton Manning and then Andrew Luck for years. However, they’ve put together one of the best defenses in the NFL this year. The Raiders are going to have their hands full and Autry could be in a good day if Trent Brown doesn’t play. Las Vegas had one of the best offenses around for most of the season but haven’t looked overly impressive the last two weeks. The Colts aren’t a great team to play if you’re trying to turn things around on offense. That said, Gruden has proven that he can take advantage of even the best defenses. Time will tell if he can work his genius against Indianapolis.