Raiders runner Dyer survives first cuts

Raiders undrafted rookie running back Michael Dyer will live to see another day wearing a silver and black uniform.

Oakland announced their first round of roster cuts Tuesday afternoon, another coming Friday, and the Louisville hopeful was not among those listed.

Dyer was the favorite of Raiders owner Mark Davis to make the roster as an undrafted rookie, Davis picks one player every year with friends from the team’s upper management.

In the Raiders third preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday night, Dyer had a putrid showing with two carries for a loss of three yards. It looked almost certain that Dyer would not return to another game with Oakland.

Veteran running back Trent Richardson was the sole running back on Oakland’s roster to be waived, leaving Dyer, Latavius Murray, Roy Helu Jr., Taiwan Jones and George Atkinson III on the team.

Richardson was waived despite posting the best numbers of the night versus a stout Arizona run defense, five carries for 19 yards.

Beyond Murray and Helu, there’s no indicator of a whole lot of talent, though Dyer has shown a tremendous burst, he’s yet to face a legitimate NFL defense. Said Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio:

“I’ve said all along that Michael has had a good camp. He’s done a good job competing. We’ll just see how things shape up.”

Atkinson, son of the former Raiders great with the same name, has nearly done more to hurt his case as an NFL running back than to help. He’s struggled holding onto the football and hasn’t been the most proficient return man.

He has, though, played a significant role as a special teams gunner this preseason, which can go a long way in separating himself from the parity of a roster’s end.

It’s still worth believing that the Raiders will add a running back soon, the headline name remains Fred Jackson, who was recently cut by the Buffalo Bills, though he is reportedly visiting with the Seattle Seahawks Tuesday afternoon.

Other Raiders cuts include: Wide receivers Milton Williams, Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Harper and Trindon Holiday, defensive backs Rob Daniel, James Dockery and Ras-I Dowling, punter Steven Clark, quarterback Cody Fajardo and guard Lamar Mady.

Right tackle Menelik Watson was officially placed on season ending injured reserve after rupturing his achilles Sunday night, and safety Jimmy Hall was waived with an injury settlement.

Oakland will play Thursday at Seattle, then trim down to 53 players Friday afternoon. Dyer has one more chance to show the coaching staff that Mark Davis was right.

Quick hits

Del Rio told members of the media Tuesday that the staff has not made a decision on whether to roster three quarterbacks or now. Derek Carr is the incumbent starter, and Matt McGloin has been behind Christian Ponder on the depth chart all preseason.

McGloin has his talents, and his limitations, as is with Ponder. Neither have shown they are starter caliber at the NFL level, but McGloin could certainly be a high quality backup. The team seems to feel that way about Ponder as well.


Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Oakland Raiders beat writer and member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Raiders.