Shark Bites

Raiders RB Josh Jacobs (hip) was held out of Wednesday's practice. This could very well be a maintenance day after Jacobs racked up 30 touches in Monday night's upset win over the Saints. But check back tomorrow for another update.

Raiders WR Henry Ruggs (knee) is officially active -- as expected -- for tonight's game against the Saints. We'll see if the knee inhibits him at all.

Raiders WR Henry Ruggs (knee) is expected to play against the Saints tonight, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Ruggs was ineffective playing through this knee injury in the 2nd half of the opener. And he only got in 1 limited practice this week. He's a risky fantasy play tonight.

Raiders WR Henry Ruggs (knee) is listed as questionable for Monday night's game against the Saints. The rookie put in a limited practice on Saturday after sitting out the previous 2 days. We'll look for an update on Ruggs' status on Sunday morning, but he should probably be on fantasy benches for now.

Raiders WR Henry Ruggs (knee) missed his 2nd straight practice on Friday. He's now looking extremely iffy for Monday night's game against the Saints. We'll get another update on the rookie's status tomorrow.

Raiders LB Nick Kwiatkoski missed practice Thursday with the pectoral injury that knocked him out of Sunday's win over the Panthers. Kwiatkoski avoided tearing the muscle, but it's not yet clear how long the team expects him to be out -- or whether he'll miss any games. We'll keep an eye on the starter-level IDP option.

Raiders WR Henry Ruggs missed practice Thursday with a knee issue. It's presumably the same knee issue that knocked him temporarily out of the opening win over the Raiders. Ruggs returned to that game, which would seem to indicate he'll be OK for Week 2. But we'll track his participation throughout the week.

Raiders LB Nick Kwiatkoski left Sunday's game against the Panthers with a pectoral injury and has been ruled out for the rest of the day. If the injury turns out to be a tear, Kwiatkoski's season would likely be over. We'll watch for updates on his status.

Raiders WR Henry Ruggs left Sunday's game against the Panthers with a knee issue. He is questionable to return.

Update: Ruggs returned to start the 2nd half.

The Raiders are placing QB Marcus Mariota on IR with a pectoral strain. Because of this year's COVID-altered rules, that could knock Mariota out for just 3 weeks. Of course, his availability won't matter that much unless starting QB Derek Carr goes down. Nathan Peterman will back up Car until Mariota returns.

Raiders HC Jon Gruden says he wants to "get more out of [RB Josh Jacobs] in the passing game, more on the field on third down." Vegas' actions this offseason -- re-signing Jalen Richard and drafting Lynn Bowden -- might suggest otherwise. But Jacobs was considered a plus pass-catcher coming out of Alabama last year. He's said his goal is to catch 60 balls this season. That's lofty, but we are projecting an increase in pass-catching production. We'll continue to look for clues about how the Raiders will deploy Jacobs. His role in the passing game figures to determine whether he's an inconsistent, borderline RB1 or a bonafide fantasy stud.

Raiders WR Bryan Edwards has been 1 of the buzziest players in the league through the first 10 days of August. The Athletic's Vic Tafur says the rookie has been "impressing teammates and coaches alike with his playmaking ability." And QB Derek Carr recently compared Edwards to Davante Adams (who Carr played with at Fresno State.) “Bryan is a very violent route runner,” Carr said. “He’s very violent and aggressive in his cuts, in and out of his cuts. … He reminds me of, when the ball is in the air, of Davante (Adams). Great ball skills.” Edwards has a good shot to win a top 3 WR job this season and is worth considering as a late-round flier in your fantasy draft.

Raiders OC Greg Olson revealed that the team plans to use WR Henry Ruggs in the slot this season. Olson added that Ruggs can be "very multiple" and move around to "different spots." Very few guys are strictly slot receivers in today's NFL, so expect to see Ruggs kicked outside the numbers on occasion. But we do like his fit in the slot, where he'll avoid press coverage and work shorter routes to take advantage of his after-catch ability. This news also means that WR Hunter Renfrow might find it tough to find the field after playing 71% of his snaps in the slot last season. It also means that rookie WR Bryan Edwards has a good shot to win a top-3 WR job on the outside opposite Tyrell Williams.

Raiders WR Bryan Edwards (foot) is "ready to go" for the start of training camp, according to insider Adam Caplan. It's good news after Edwards fractured his left foot while training for the Combine back in February. The rookie is expected to open camp behind WR Tyrell Williams on the depth chart, per Caplan, but has the size and talent to push for a rookie-year role.

Raiders WR Henry Ruggs is expected to be ready for training camp, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Ruggs suffered a cut to his thigh when he got pinned between a car and trailer while helping his friend move in May. He needed stitches but suffered no muscular damage, per Schefter. This should be a non-story going forward.

Raiders WR Henry Ruggs suffered a cut to his thigh while moving things into a trailer recently, his father told AL.com. "He was trying to move a trailer or something -- move furniture or something -- and the trailer just kind of pinned him against a car or a wall or something," Ruggs' father said. "He's pretty much OK ... It was just like a little open wound on his leg, a little incision." A Raiders source tells ESPN's Paul Gutierrez that Ruggs "will be fine." But his father revealed that he's using crutches to get around. We probably won't learn much more about the injury until players are cleared to report to their teams.

The Raiders added South Carolina WR Bryan Edwards in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He joins Henry Ruggs in Oakland’s remade WR corps. Edwards’ college production profile is as impressive as any WR in this class. He posted a 44-590-4 line as a 17-year-old true freshman and then led the Gamecocks with 64 catches, 793 yards and 5 scores as a sophomore. Edwards set new career highs with 846 yards and 7 TDs in 2018. And he turned in a 71-816-6 line this past year, despite missing 2 games. He led the SEC with 7.1 catches per game and ranked 4th with 81.6 receiving yards per game. Edwards is a 6’3, 212-pounder who plays to that size. He’s a tackle-breaker after the catch and is comfortable in contested situations. The big concern is Edwards’ injury history. He tore the meniscus in his right knee as a high school senior, strained a hamstring in 2016, hurt his left knee in 2019 and fractured his left foot while training for the Combine in February. Edwards figures to compete with Tyrell Williams for snaps in 2020.

The Raiders selected Alabama WR Henry Ruggs with the 12th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Ahead of CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy. Wow. Ruggs has field-tilting speed. He averaged 17.5 yards per catch over 3 college seasons and blazed a 4.27-second 40 time at the Combine. The 5’11, 188-pounder also crushed the vertical and broad jumps to earn a 99th percentile SPARQ score. Ruggs’ college production is lacking, though. He never topped 46 catches or 746 receiving yards in a season, despite catching passes from QB Tua Tagovailoa for much of that time. Ruggs feasted on weaker competition, averaging 100 yards and 1.2 TDs per game vs. Non-Power 5 schools over the last 2 seasons but just 47 yards and .6 TDs vs. Power 5 opponents. And, despite that elite speed, he made just 4 receptions 20+ yards downfield in 2019. Ruggs also dealt with a rib injury, a lower-body injury and a 3rd undisclosed injury this past season. “He was really a specialist in their offense where they designed certain plays for him,” an anonymous scout told The Athletic’s Bob McGinn. “He is fast, but when people get on him you don’t see the same speed and route running. When he gets the ball, if he has a clear path, he can go. But he’s not a make-you-miss player.” It’ll be a disappointment if Ruggs doesn’t immediately carve out a significant role as a rookie, although we don’t like this fit with the conservative Derek Carr.

The Raiders have reached a 3-year, $36 million deal with LB Cory Littleton. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that it will include $22 million guaranteed. That follow's Las Vegas' Monday deal with LB Nick Kwiatkoski to likely fill the team's 2 full-time LB roles for the coming season. Littleton clearly stands as the better player, but we'll see exactly what their roles look like. Littleton became a versatile performer with the Rams, delivering in the pass rush and coverage. He'll remain a stellar bet for fantasy production in the middle of a defense that delivered Tahir Whitehead 108 tackles in 2019. There's room, though, for Kwiatkoski to also reach fantasy-starter territory -- at least in low LB3 range.

The Raiders have reached a deal with QB Marcus Mariota, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Mariota will back up QB Derek Carr, which doesn't help his fantasy outlook as much as landing in Chicago would have. But Carr doesn't look like the most secure starter in the league. Oakland's not a terrible spot. Still just 26 until Oct. 30, Mariota also likely has at least 1 more NFL contract beyond this one.

 
 
 

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