Raiders Cut Speedster WR to Make Room for DL

henry ruggs rico gafford

Getty Henry Ruggs with Rico Gafford.

It appears the Rico Gafford project could be ending for the Las Vegas Raiders. The former cornerback turned wide receiver is one of the fastest players in the NFL but he’s had trouble making plays on offense. He’s only been active three games this season and has notched one catch for 12 yards.

He became an expendable piece for the Raiders and they decided to waive him so that they can activate Daniel Ross from the injured reserve.

With rookie Henry Ruggs missing a number of games due to injury, that could’ve been the perfect opportunity for Gafford to step up, who has a similar skill set. He was never able to make plays while Ruggs was out and with the first-rounder getting healthy, the Raiders didn’t really need another speedster.

Though Gafford’s days on the Raiders’ active roster are over for right now, they could bring him back to the practice squad. He’d just need to clear waivers. Considering his potential and speed, it wouldn’t be a surprise if another team claimed him. If not, the Raiders would very likely sign him to the practice squad. Gafford is a good player to have in case Ruggs gets injured again.

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Daniel Ross Returns

Ross has been on the injured reserve for about a month and perhaps he can breathe life into a lifeless offensive line. He was signed during the offseason and was one of the few Rod Marinelli guys the team picked up. He’s only played in one game this season and three tackles.

The Raiders shouldn’t expect Ross to open up the pass rush. He only has two sacks in 17 career games. That said, even the proven pass rushers on the team’s defensive line haven’t been able to do much. Any extra help can’t hurt. It’s not a foregone conclusion that Ross will be active for any upcoming games but the team likes him enough to pick him over Gafford.

Chris Smith & Jaryd Jones-Smith Promoted

The team also announced that they’re promoting defensive end Chris Smith and offensive lineman Jaryd Jones-Smith to the active roster for the Week 9 game versus the Los Angeles Chargers. This is the third time Smith has been promoted this season. He’s actually played well in his brief appearances. In his two games, he has a sack and two quarterback hits. Those aren’t earthshattering numbers but it’s better than what a lot of the other Raiders’ defensive linemen have done. Another solid performance by Smith this week and he could earn a permanent spot on the active roster.

The decision to promote Jones-Smith likely means that there is some worry that Kolton Miller won’t be able to go on Sunday. The left tackle hasn’t missed a game yet in his NFL career but missed practice all week. Head coach Jon Gruden said that Miller will be a game-time decision. With Trent Brown being out again, not having Miller would be a serious blow.

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