Raiders Sign ‘Hard Knocks’ Star WR & Rookie CB to Practice Squad

keelan doss

Getty Las Vegas Raiders WR Keelan Doss.

Outside of some possible smaller moves here and there, the Las Vegas Raiders‘ roster should be pretty much set for Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers. With the lack of a preseason and the threat of COVID-19, the practice squad has added importance this year. More veterans are able to stay on the squad this year so it’s very possible a lot of practice squad members play regular season games this year.

The Raiders released their 14 player practice squad and there are some notable names to make the list. Here are the players, all of which were with the team at points this offseason:

  • WR Marcell Ateman
  • TE Nick Bowers
  • DB Jordan Brown
  • WR Keelan Doss
  • K Dominik Eberle
  • LB Kyle Emanuel
  • CB Madre Harper
  • DE Datone Jones
  • CB Dylan Mabin
  • OL Erik Magnuson
  • RB Theo Riddick
  • T Kamaal Seymour
  • DE Chris Smith
  • LB Javin White

Emanuel, Jones, Smith and Riddick are all veterans who are new to the team this year. Bowers, Eberle, Harper, Seymour and White are all rookies. It’s clear the Raiders wanted their practice squad to be filled with players who have spent time with the team.

Keelan Doss Still Sticking Around

One of the most notable players the Raiders were to keep was wide receiver Keelan Doss. He was a star on HBO’s Hard Knocks last year and quickly became a fan favorite due to his great preseason. When Antonio Brown was released, there was hope he would step up and be a contributor on offense.

Unfortunately, he was given a number of opportunities to prove himself but struggled greatly. He was a healthy scratch for many games and only caught 11 balls. There was a ton of opportunity for a wide receiver to step up last year for the Raiders but he wasn’t the guy to do it. Doss now goes to the practice squad where he’ll be able to refine his game. The team clearly likes him and he does have talent. Perhaps he’ll get another chance on the active roster at some point this year.

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Mike Mayock Keeping a Watchful Eye on Rookies

It’s clear based on the Raiders’ roster this year that they are expecting a lot from their rookies. It’s possible that both starting wide receivers are rookies this year and one of the starting cornerbacks should be a rookie. With the lack of OTAs and a preseason, this will be a really risky move by the Raiders.

“I think what you want to see is just business as usual,” general manager Mike Mayock said when asked about his expectations for the rookies. “You don’t want rookies to go out and think they have to win the game by themselves. Just go out and do what God gave you, with the gifts that you have. Obviously, honed by what the coaches have taught you and just go out and be you. Really more than anything, and it’s what [Head Coach] Jon [Gruden] and I stress and we have since Day 1, just go out and compete. Compete your tails off. That’s what we ask from our rookies.”

Relying on rookies could work in the Raiders’ favor but could also blow up in their faces. With a front-loaded schedule in 2020, the team could get off to a rough start. That said, the schedule eases up in the second half and that’s when the rookie will be able to shine.

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Follow Austin Boyd on Twitter: @austincjboyd

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