Justin Ellis is (almost) back. Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Raiders nose tackle is set to return to practice next week. The writer implies that the team will ultimately activate Ellis from the injured reserve once he’s ready to go.
It’s a lost season for the Raiders, but the team will surely appreciate the reinforcement along the defensive line. Ellis originally suffered a foot injury during Oakland’s season-opener against the Rams, and the team subsequently placed him on the injured reserve. It was expected that the 27-year-old would return to practice in late October, but the defensive tackle apparently needed some extra time to recover.
The Raiders’ new regime will certainly want to see what they have in Ellis, especially after he inked a three-year, $15MM extension with the team during the offseason. Pro Football Focus graded him as one of the league’s better run stopping tackles last year, and he finished the 2017 campaign with 48 tackles and 0.5 sacks in 16 games (14 starts).
Ellis is one of three Raiders defensive tackles currently sitting on the injured reserve (along with Eddie Vanderdoes and Ahtyba Rubin). When he’s ultimately activated from the IR, he’ll be joining a healthy grouping that includes P.J. Hall, Maurice Hurst, Johnathan Hankins, and Clinton McDonald.
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