Raiders Sign Ex-49ers RB to Roster, Lose Key Pass Rusher for Season

austin walter

Getty New Las Vegas Raiders RB Austin Walter.

The Las Vegas Raiders have been practicing with pads at training camp and are getting their best look at the roster yet. This is the time of the offseason for running backs to shine. The team has a number of talented running backs on the roster right now who are fighting to make the roster.

Despite having a litany of talent, the Raiders are making another addition. The team announced that they’ve signed running back Austin Walter to the roster.

Walter came into the NFL in 2019 as an undrafted free agent of the San Francisco 49ers. He then bounced over to the New York Giants where he played in one game but didn’t get any carries. His biggest year came last season with the New York Jets. He had 26 carries for 101 yards in four games. The former Rice standout is a smaller running back at 5-foot-8. He’ll have some stiff competition if he hopes to make the roster. The best path for him is to prove he can make an impact on special teams.

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LB Kyler Fackrell Injured

The Raiders were struck with some tough news as they placed Kyler Fackrell on the Reserve/Injured List. The former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker was signed this offseason to serve as a third or fourth pass rusher. It’s unclear what his injury is and how serious it is but he’ll be out.

Fackrell’s best season came in 2018 when he had 10.5 sacks. He hasn’t reached those same heights since but does bring some pass rush juice. Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby are easily the two best pass rushers on the team and the Raiders were Fackrell could be a solid third option in 3-4 sets. Losing him at the stage is a pretty bad blow for the team’s defense. It only makes it more important for Jones and Crosby to stay healthy. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Fackrell is done for the season unless the Raiders cut him.

Zamir White Has yet to Practice

A reason the Raiders likely signed Walter should have to do with the fact that rookie Zamir White has yet to practice in training camp. The fourth-round pick out of Georgia figured to be a key part of the offense this season but that won’t happen if he can’t practice. Head coach Josh McDaniels wants to see him on the field soon.

“The hope would be that it’s not too much longer, but we’ll make sure we’re smart about all those guys,” McDaniels said Thursday. “There’s a handful of ’em that haven’t been able to be out there for a couple days, and they’re all working extremely hard to try to get back as soon as possible.”

The fact that he has yet to practice and that the Raiders signed Walter isn’t a good sign that White is close to returning. He dealt with injuries in college so the team could also just be being cautious.

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