Concerned about their depth at linebacker, the Raiders signed Bruce Davis and released defensive lineman Jay Alford, beat writer Steve Corkran has confirmed.
The Raiders also waived cornerback Joey Thomas from injured reserve.
While it remains to be seen if Davis can be brought up to speed by Sunday when the Raiders face the Chargers, they came out of a 31-24 loss to Houston with two weak side linebackers, Quentin Groves and Thomas Howard, who weren’t able to finish the game. Groves had a hamstring pull, Howard a knee injury.
Ricky Brown, primarily a strong side and middle linebacker, was inactive because of a hamstring pull. Another linebacker, rookie Travis Goethel, has been out since the start of the season with a lower back injury.
If Davis is not an option against the Chargers and Groves and Howard are both out, the Raiders can either move Trevor Scott back to weak side linebacker, where he finished the 2009 season and played through training camp, or play alignments which utilize safety Mike Mitchell as a hybrid safety/linebacker. Mitchell subbed for Howard in the Raiders’ dime package Sunday.
Davis (6-foot-3, 252 pounds) was signed off the practice squad of the 49ers. He was a third-round draft pick, No. 88 overall, by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008. He played five games for the Steelers, was released at the end of the 2009 training camp, and spent October of 2009 through the remainder of the season on the practice squad of the New England Patriots.
Signed following the season and later waived, Davis was claimed by Denver but waived.
Davis is the son of former Raiders tackle Bruce Davis, who also attended UCLA and played with the Raiders from 1979-87.
Alford was signed by the Raiders Sept. 8.