Will Compton‘s latest Raiders stint ended with a Wednesday departure. The Raiders cut the veteran linebacker, moving on after his second tenure with the team lasted nearly a month.
Las Vegas brought in Compton, a former starter for the 2019 Oakland Raiders, last month amid sudden depth issues on its defensive second level. Compton ended up playing in one game — Week 14 against the Chiefs — with the team.
A multiyear starter with Washington in the mid-2010s, Compton has now seen NFL action in nine seasons. He has yo-yo’d between the Titans and Raiders over the past four. With Tennessee in 2020, Compton played in 12 games and started one. The 32-year-old defender caught on with the Raiders on Dec. 7.
The Raiders also waived Justin March-Lillard, a linebacker who has been with three teams this year. Although March-Lillard started five games as a rookie with the Chiefs in 2016, he has been a career special-teamer. March-Lillard did not see any game action with the Raiders but was with two teams in December, playing in one game apiece with the 49ers (Week 13) and Saints (Week 16).
The Saints were in desperate need of reinforcements after placing 20+ players on the COVID-19 list this week. Even when counting eligible practice squaders, that left the Saints with barely enough players to field a full 48-man active roster.
Westbrooks, 31, appeared in 61 games for the Rams between the 2015 and 2018 seasons, collecting 51 tackles, nine sacks, and one forced fumble. However, he hasn’t seen the field since that 2018 campaign. His last deal came with the Raiders, but he was released midway through the 2021 preseason.
March-Lillard, 28, has spent much of his seven-year career as a special teamer. So far this year, he’s appeared in just one game for the 49ers. Still, he could be thrust into action tonight as the Saints work with limited options.
Thanks to the NFL’s new protocols, the Saints could see some of their players cleared between now and kickoff. But, barring that, they’ll be at half-strength tonight as they fight to keep their playoff hopes alive. A loss tonight would decrease their Wild Card chances to just 33%, per the stats at Five Thirty Eight.
Following Mike Vrabel‘s positive coronavirus test Sunday, Ryan Tannehill has since tested positive, per ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, who adds nine Titans players or coaches have now tested positive (Twitter link). This contingent also includes outside linebacker Harold Landry and a few backups. Vrabel and Tannehill’s absences, however, certainly will affect Tennessee’s practice routines ahead of the season.
Not everyone in this group has tested positive, The Tennesseean’s Ben Arthur tweets, and Vrabel said (via Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams) the vaccinated players who did test positive did not communicate to him any notable symptoms. But the team does have a bit of an issue on its hands.
Players have quicker avenues back to the field than they did last year. Vaccinated individuals who test positive do not have to isolate for 10 days any longer; they can return to practice after two negative tests 24 hours apart. Vrabel, who has been away from the team since Saturday, is vaccinated but has yet to test negative twice. Only unvaccinated players are eligible to be classified as high-risk close contacts.
The Titans’ October 2020 outbreak, which caused the first of the NFL’s schedule changes last season, certainly dwarfs their present situation. But the team being without its coach for nearly a week and being set to have its quarterback sidelined is notable. Tannehill, who is vaccinated, will be the latest quarterback to miss practices this month due to a COVID-19 situation. He will follow Lamar Jackson, Kirk Cousins and Cam Newton in that regard. The NFLPA has called for a return to daily testing, but as of now, only unvaccinated players are tested daily.