Jermaine Eluemunor

Latest On Raiders’ Offensive Line Situation

The Raiders entered the season with one of the most highly-regarded skill-position groups in the league, but a number of questions on the offensive line. That was reflected by a rotation at multiple spots in Week 1, something which is expected to continue tomorrow. 

As noted by Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the team deployed two players at both right tackle and right guard, with starters Jermaine Eluemunor and Dylan Parham sharing time with Thayer Munford and Lester Cotton, respectively. Overall, the Raiders allowed five sacks in their loss to the Chargers, but the play of that quartet drew praise from the coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi.

“I think they’ve earned the right to play again this week,” he said of the aforementioned linemen. The two starters drew encouraging PFF grades, but Bonsignore adds that Munford “will remain in the mix” for significant playing time. Of course, outside additions remain a distinct possibility as well.

The Raiders hosted a number of veterans earlier this week, including Billy Price. That resulted in a practice squad deal for the 27-year-old, who was a full-time starter for the Giants last season. In addition, Vegas worked out former Cardinal Justin Murray recently, along with far less experienced options in Myron CunninghamShamarious Gilmore and Willie Wright (Twitter link via SI’s Howard Balzer).

“We’re playing the guys that deserve to play,” head coach Josh McDaniels confirmed. “There are seven guys that played [Sunday] because they earned the opportunity with their performance throughout the course of the preseason and in training camp.”

With the rotation apparently set to continue for the foreseeable future, the Raiders will look to find a full-time starting unit while aiming for their first win tomorrow against the Cardinals.

Raiders RT Brandon Parker Out For Season

The Raiders’ right tackle competition has seen an unfortunate development. Per a team announcement, projected starter Brandon Parker has been placed on injured reserve, ending his 2022 season. 

The 26-year-old was in line to operate with the first team, but suffered an injury which was recently confirmed as being serious. In his absence, Vegas had several options available as replacements, and were subsequently reported to not be eyeing a free agent addition.

Parker has starting experience dating back, primarily, to his rookie season and the 2021 campaign. He re-upped with the team in free agency on a one-year deal worth $3.5MM, a contract which would have given the team a cost-effective lineman and allowed the former third-rounder to earn a more lucrative pact next offseason. Instead, his market will be weighed down by this year-long absence.

For the past few weeks, Vegas has weighed their options at the position, which include veteran Jermaine Eluemunor, seventh-round rookie Thayer Munford and 2021 first-rounder Alex Leatherwood. The latter struggled during his rookie season, resulting in a shift to guard. He has been similarly underwhelming during this offseason, potentially leaving his roster spot in jeopardy despite his age and draft status. Indeed, the team’s braintrust – now featuring GM Dave Ziegler and HC Josh McDaniels – has explored the possibility of trading Leatherwood, per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.

Between that possibility and a minor ailment for Munford, Eluemunor can be considered the RT favorite at least to start the season. Especially given the expectations surrounding the Raiders, though, that spot (along with the 0-line as a whole) will be heavily scrutinized, particularly if Vegas holds firm on using internal options to replace Parker.

The team also confirmed on Sunday that defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster and linebacker Tae Davis have been placed on IR. Lancaster had been a rotational presence throughout his four-year Packers tenure before signing in May; Davis, meanwhile, primarily played on special teams with the Giants and Browns to begin his career. He missed the 2021 campaign, and had recently been released by the Texans.

Raiders Not Eyeing Free Agent RT Addition

The Raiders did not field a particularly good offensive line in 2021. Despite the franchise hiring a new head coach-GM combination, the group remains relatively unchanged. And the team endured a recent setback; Brandon Parker is battling what is believed to be a significant injury, Tashan Reed of The Athletic notes (subscription required).

Parker has not practiced since the Raiders’ preseason opener Aug. 4. The veteran blocker who spent much of last season as the Raiders’ starting right tackle re-signed with the team on a one-year, $3.5MM deal. He continued to work with the first-stringers during the team’s offseason program and into the start of training camp. The Raiders do not view Parker’s injury as season-ending at this point, per Reed, leading to no IR placement. Players can only return from IR if they are carried through to the 53-man roster after the Aug. 30 cutdown day.

The team does have other options here. Alex Leatherwood, who moved to guard early during his rookie season, is the most prominent of those choices. Though, the Alabama product widely viewed as a first-round reach last year was Pro Football Focus’ worst-graded full-time O-lineman in 2021. Still, Josh McDaniels said earlier this summer Leatherwood would be given “every opportunity” to win the job. Veteran Jermaine Eluemunor and seventh-round rookie Thayer Munford, whom the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Vincent Bonsignore notes has made “rapid” improvement, are also in the mix here. Munford, however, also suffered an injury this week.

Parker being sidelined for a chunk of the season opens the door to one of these options, with the others becoming depth pieces or swing options. The Raiders’ initial depth chart has Lester Cotton, a UDFA who has appeared in five career games, positioned as their right guard starter. Leatherwood having a road back to that gig, should he lose the right tackle competition, would make sense.

The team is not ruling out an outside addition, per Bonsignore, who adds a trade should not be discarded as an option. That may well depend on Parker’s timetable. If the team is to add a player in a non-trade capacity, Bonsignore notes a move should be expected on the waiver wire when rosters are slashed from 80 to 53 players in 10 days. But Las Vegas is not actively scouring the free agent market.

Daryl Williams resides as one of the top options available, but Reed adds the Raiders did not view him well as a Bills right tackle last season. The Bills moved Williams to guard during the 2021 slate. Bobby Massie, a longtime Bears starter who was the Broncos’ primary right-edge blocker in 2021, and Brandon Shell (a Jets and Seahawks full-timer during his career) are available as well.

Raiders Re-Sign OL Jermaine Eluemunor

After appearing in 14 games for the Raiders last season, offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor has agreed to return to Las Vegas, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. In a series of transactions heading into the weekend, the Raiders have made sure to bring back a proven backup lineman who could earn a starting spot. 

A fifth-round pick for the Ravens in 2017, Eluemunor had already traveled more than most draft prospects. Eluemunor was born in England, moving to New Jersey in his teenage years and finding football. After applying to around 120 schools, he earned a scholarship to Texas A&M before getting drafted to Baltimore.

Eluemunor had three starts in two seasons with the Ravens as a reserve lineman before being traded alongside a sixth-round pick to New England in exchange for a fourth-round pick. His first year as a Patriot was plagued with injury, but he was named the starting right tackle to start the 2020 NFL season. A Week 6 ankle injury landed Eluemunor on injured reserve, but he returned four weeks later to start four of the eight remaining games of the season.

A free agent after his stint in New England, Eluemunor signed with the Dolphins, getting cut before the season started. Four days later, he joined the Jaguars for a four-day period before getting cut yet again. Eluemunor wasn’t unemployed for long, though. Two days later, Eluemunor landed in Vegas.

An injury to Week 1 starter Denzelle Good elevated Eluemunor to first-string in a matchup versus his former team, the Ravens. Eluemunor, who had been with the team for only two weeks, made three more starts for Las Vegas before returning to his role as a backup and special teamer.

The Raiders return key contributors from last year Kolton Miller, John Simpson, Alex Leatherwood, and Andre James. Vegas has also re-signed back ups Jackson Barton and Brandon Parker, as well as recently signing Alex Bars, who started 11 games in three seasons with the Bears. Despite the addition of Bars, the Raiders have a ton of familiarity heading into 2022.

In contrast to the recent additions, Las Vegas has cut cornerback Jordan Brown, defensive end P.J. Johnson, offensive lineman William Sweet, safety Natrell Jamerson, and wide receiver Javon Wims.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/23/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Raiders Place LB Nick Morrow, RB Jalen Richard On IR

The Raiders are placing four players on IR. Running back Jalen Richard, linebacker Nick Morrow, and defensive backs Keisean Nixon and Javin White will be shelved for at least the first three weeks of the season, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). To take the open roster spots, the team has signed offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor and re-signed both tight end Derek Carrier and safety Dallin Leavitt. (via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez on Twitter).

Richard has spent five seasons with the Raiders, including a 2018 campaign where he finished with 866 yards from scrimmage. He hasn’t been able to match that production over the past two years, combining for only 729 yards from scrimmage in 29 games. The 27-year-old is expected to be a primary backup to Josh Jacobs for another season in 2021.

Morrow had a career year for the Raiders in 2020, finishing with career-highs across the board. The linebacker has been dealing with a foot injury since late August, and he was expected to be sidelined for the start of the regular season. The team brought in some reinforcement at the position today when they signed veteran K.J. Wright.

Nixon has appeared in 29 games for the Raiders over the past two years, turning into one of the team’s special teams stalwarts. White, a 2020 undrafted free agent out of UNLV, got into four games with the Raiders as a rookie.

Jaguars Move Down To 53-Man Roster

The Jaguars are the latest team to squeeze their roster down to 53 players Tuesday. Here are the players the Urban Meyer-led regime cut to get there:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on reserve/NFI list:

Some big names at wideout appear on this list, and the Jags also released former first-round pick Phillip Dorsett earlier Tuesday. Cooper is a former All-Pro kick returner who has held regular return gigs since that 2017 breakout. The fifth-year role player was the Cardinals’ primary return man in 2019 and filled the same role with the Panthers last season. Like Dorsett, Treadwell arrived as a first-round pick. But the former Vikings draftee has not been able to find steady footing in the league.

Jacksonville drafted Williams in the 2019 third round — two rounds after younger brother Quinnen went to the Jets — but the young linebacker did not start a game in 2020. Luton did, but the Oregon State product did not profile as a steady backup option. The Jags are going with Meyer-era investments Trevor Lawrence and C.J. Beathard at QB. The Wilson move comes after the veteran safety operated as a Jags back-line starter for the past two seasons.

Jaguars Sign WR Devin Smith

Devin Smith has earned himself another NFL gig. The veteran wide receiver signed with the Jaguars today, per ESPN’s Michael DiRocco (via Twitter). The team also signed offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor.

Smith was a standout playing for current Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer while the two were at Ohio State, and that performance made Smith a second-round pick by the Jets in 2015. The wideout proved to be a disappointment, as he collected only 10 receptions for 135 yards and one touchdown in 14 games (three starts) through two years with the team. To be fair, a torn ACL derailed his rookie campaign, and another ACL tear in 2017 forced him to miss the entire season. The receiver was ultimately waived by the team in 2018 and ended up sitting out that entire season, as well.

He got another chance in 2019 with the Cowboys, finishing with five receptions for 113 yards and one touchdown in four games (two starts). He was released by Dallas prior to last season, and he spent most of the 2020 campaign on the Texans and Patriots practice squad. New England held on to him for much of the 2021 offseason before ultimately cutting him last month.

In Jacksonville, Smith will have an uphill battle to make the roster. The Jaguars have DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault Jr., and Marvin Jones leading their depth chart, with notable names like Phillip Dorsett, Jamal Agnew, Laquon Treadwell, and Pharoh Cooper listed as backups.

Eluemunor, a 2017 fifth-round pick out of Texas A&M, spent two seasons with the Ravens before getting traded to the Patriots in 2019. The lineman spent two seasons in New England, appearing in 22 games with eight starts. He signed with the Dolphins earlier this offseason but was cut by the team earlier this week.

Dolphins To Cut OT Jermaine Eluemunor

The Dolphins will cap Jermaine Eluemunor‘s Miami stay at less than three months. After signing the veteran tackle in June, the team opted to cut him on Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Miami is also placing wide receiver Lynn Bowden on IR, per Pelissero (on Twitter).

Eluemunor, who spent the past two seasons with the Patriots, was vying for a backup tackle gig in Miami. The Dolphins have done some shuffling on their offensive line, but they will move on without the four-year veteran ahead of the deadline for teams to cut their rosters down to 80 players.

This move comes days after the team acquired third-year tackle Greg Little from the Panthers. The Dolphins have now parted ways with multiple veteran O-linemen since the start of training camp. They placed D.J. Fluker on IR and reached an injury settlement to jettison the guard.

Eluemunor started eight games for the Pats last season, filling in for a team that again was down Isaiah Wynn for a stretch and one that lost Marcus Cannon to an opt-out choice. Pro Football Focus graded Eluemunor as a middle-of-the-road tackle, slotting him 47th at the position in 419 snaps. Eluemunor visited the Broncos earlier this year, but Denver opted to sign Bobby Massie and Cameron Fleming to fill its Ja’Wuan James-created void at right tackle.

The Dolphins acquired Bowden from the Raiders last summer, marking a strange NFL path for the 2020 third-round pick. Bowden contributed in a few Fins games, catching 28 passes for 211 yards for a receiver-deficient team. Miami expanded its wideout group this year, signing Will Fuller and drafting Jaylen Waddle in Round 1. Albert Wilson‘s return gave the Dolphins more depth, and Bowden was battling for a roster spot.

While the Dolphins could keep Bowden on IR all season and develop him, players who land on IR at this time of the year are often subsequently released from teams’ injury lists via injury-settlement payments. It is unclear if the Dolphins play to remove Bowden from IR via that transaction, but Tuesday’s move ensures he cannot play for the team in 2021.

The Dolphins also waived wideouts Robert Foster and Isaiah Ford, cutting the former with an injury designation.