Melifonwu, whom Oakland selected earlier this year with the 56th overall pick, will now see his lost rookie campaign come to an end. The former UConn Huskie underwent knee surgery in August and missed eight weeks, and has now had an operation on his hip, as head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters, including Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review Journal (Twitter link).
While the Raiders had hoped Melifonwu would aid a pass defense which ranks dead last in DVOA, he ended up playing only 34 defensive snaps over five games. Oakland will need Melifonwu at full health in 2018, as the club is likely counting on him to step into the starting lineup given that veteran safety Reggie Nelson will hit free agency.
Hamilton, who went undrafted out of South Carolina State in 2016, has appeared in eight total games during his two-year NFL career. The 24-year-old will likely see most of his action on special teams as the season comes to a close, but he’ll also serve as a reserve cornerback behind T.J. Carrie, Sean Smith, and David Amerson.
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