The Las Vegas Raiders have been receiving great play from Nate Hobbs and Amik Robertson in training camp this offseason but injuries are starting to mount at cornerback. Trayvon Mullen is on the Physically Unable to Perform List while Rock Ya-Sin, Cre’von LeBlanc and Anthony Averett have been missing from practice recently. With the Raiders getting thin at cornerback, they’ll have to look to free agency to add some depth.
According to Field Yates of ESPN, the team has signed defensive back Nate Brooks.
Brooks has been in the NFL since 2019 when he entered as an undrafted free agent of the Arizona Cardinals. He’s bounced around several practice squads but has only seen regular season action with the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens. In four career games, he has 11 combined tackles and no interceptions. He had a brief stint with the New England Patriots in 2019 which is likely why the Raiders decided to bring him in. He should have some familiarity with head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler.
It’s an uphill battle to make the roster this late in training camp but all the current injuries give him a chance.
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Cre’Von LeBlanc Done for Year
The news with Brooks signing also came with some bad news. The Raiders are sending Cre’Von LeBlanc to the Injured Reserve. Unless he’s cut by the team with an injury settlement, he’s done for the season. Las Vegas signed the veteran defensive back earlier in the offseason. He had two stints in his career with the Patriots so he has familiarity with the system.
LeBlanc was always going to have a hard time making the roster but this injury is a big blow for the defensive back as he’s had a tough time sticking on a roster.
Raiders Could Be Surprisingly Good at CB
There was a lot of talk in free agency regarding how the Raiders needed to sign a star cornerback. They were linked to big names like J.C. Jackson, Stephon Gilmore and James Bradberry. Instead, the team decided to add lesser-known players like Ya-Sin and Averett. Cornerback was a concern for the Raiders in training camp but it might be in a strong place right now.
As mentioned earlier, Hobbs and Robertson have put together strong camps. Hobbs might even be an emerging star. He played in the slot last season but it’s looking like the Raiders see him as a player who can play all over the field. He might end up being the Raiders’ No. 1 cornerback. Roberston still has a lot of work to do to earn a spot in the cornerback rotation but is making strides. Mullen and Ya-Sin were the expected starters heading into camp which means the team still has some good reinforcements on the way. The Raiders are young at cornerback but could end up having a very good group when the season starts up. That would be great for the team as they didn’t need to overpay for established stars.