Decisive Oakland Raiders Roster Battles of Week 3


Aug 15, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) is defended by Detroit Lions defensive tackle Andre Fluellen (96) at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 is often one of the key dates of the preseason that decides roster spots.  Who needs to make a move for the Oakland Raiders?

RB:  Latavius Murray vs. Kory Sheets

It seems Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew have locked up the first and second running back spots while Marcel Reece is set at fullback.  That likely leaves just one spot in the backfield left for the taking.  As it stands second-year man Latavius Murray has a hold on the job given his extensive athletic potential, but veteran Kory Sheets has made a serious surge in preseason to at least make him work for it.  How each performs against Green Bay could prove the determining factor for how the Oakland backfield looks in 2014.

WR:  Greg Little vs. Juron Criner

Brice Butler has earned his roster spot through just two preseason games.  Denarius Moore is still too valuable an offensive piece to lose.  That means the final spot in the Raiders receiving corps has come down to veteran Greg Little and the enigmatic Juron Criner.  Little has the advantage of speed but continues his trademark struggle in catching the football while Criner couldn’t follow up strong OTAs into the preseason.  He has one catch in two games.  The key fact to note here:  Criner has missed significant time with hip problems.

DE:  Jack Crawford vs. Shelby Harris

It is do or die time for veteran defensive end Jack Crawford.  He has produced little thus far in preseason action in an otherwise underwhelming Raiders career.  Meanwhile, rookie 7th round pick Shelby Harris has flashed the pass rush prowess he was drafted for and would appear to make an ideal situational rusher behind Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley.  If Crawford is going to make any sort of move to save his football livelihood, it’s going to be at Lambeau Field.

CB:  T.J. Carrie vs. Chimdi Chekwa

The injury to D.J. Hayden has created a vacuum at the nickel corner position.  With Carlos Rogers forced to kick outside, a battle has developed to fill his slot on the inside.  The two names that have earned the most attention are Chimdi Chekwa and rookie T.J. Carrie.  It’s hard to really pick a leader since the entire Oakland secondary has looked pretty bad through two weeks but an honest evaluation may say that Carrie could wrap up the job by default since Chekwa is questionable for the game with a knee injury.