Raiders Cut Veteran WR & Rookie DL, Place LB on Injured List

marcell ateman

Getty Former Las Vegas Raiders WR Marcell Ateman.

The regular season is nearing for the Las Vegas Raiders so they’ll have to consistently cut down their roster over the next few weeks. On Tuesday, the team had to get the roster down to 80 players. It’s been a competitive training camp but this is a good opportunity for the Raiders to trim some fat.

The team announced on Tuesday that they’ve waived wide receiver Marcell Atemen and defensive lineman Darius Stills. They also placed linebacker Darron Lee on the Reserve/Injured list, which means he won’t count as a roster spot right now. With those three moves, the Raiders are down to 80 players.

It’s a bit disappointing for Ateman to get let go at this juncture. He had a touchdown catch in Saturday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams and has now been with the team for each of the last three seasons. Unfortunately, he won’t be making the Raiders’ regular-season roster once again.

Stills is an undrafted rookie out of West Virginia and he was an intriguing prospect. He’s a bit undersized for a defensive tackle but has a ton of swagger. It appears that injuries derailed his chances of making the roster.

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Could Ateman & Stills Land on the Practice Squad?

During Jon Gruden’s tenure with the Raiders, Ateman has become a staple on the practice squad. He’s been able to play in 18 games but with the team’s wide receiver room getting crowded, he never really had a shot at making the regular-season roster this season. Once again, he could get a chance to make the practice squad. However, the Raiders still like Keelan Doss and are very intrigued by undrafted rookie Dillon Stoner. They can’t have the practice squad filled with too many wide receivers so Ateman’s time in Las Vegas could be over.

On the other hand, Stills could be a strong candidate for the practice squad. The Raiders clearly believe that you can’t have too many defensive linemen and Stills does have potential. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to stash him on the practice squad while he gets healthy and see what he do in the future.

Are LB Injuries Cause for Concern?

With Lee going down with an injury, the Raiders could be thin at linebacker. We just saw Nicholas Morrow and Javin White suffer injuries in the last week. There’s no word as to how bad those injuries were but they certainly don’t look good. In addition, Nick Kwiatkoski has been banged up over the last couple of weeks.

Right now, Cory Littleton and Tanner Muse appear to be the only healthy linebackers on the roster who have real shots to make the team. There’s been talk of the Raiders signing former Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright. That might not be a bad call depending on how bad the injuries are to Morrow and White. Linebacker has been an area where the Raiders have struggled for years. That could be the case again if injuries continue to be an issue.

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