ALAMEDA — Raiders coach Jack Del Rio talks a lot about the importance of being a good teammate, and there’s no better example of that on his roster than wide receiver Rod Streater.
Just two years removed from catching 60 passes for 888 yards and four touchdowns as a starter, Streater has been a healthy scratch, inactive, in nine games. The only time he got on the field was in the opener, a Week 1 loss to Cincinnati, where Streater caught a single pass for eight yards.
When the Raiders host the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at 1 p.m. at O.co Coliseum, Streater will likely take his place on the sideline, out of uniform, a former starter who is now a spectator.
Yet Streater was the surprise winner of the Ed Block Courage award, awarded in a vote of his teammates as being a model of “inspiration, sportsmanship and courage.” Each team in the NFL names one winner, who becomes a candidate for an NFL award.
“It was definitely humbling,” Streater said Friday. “It surprised me, but the guys really appreciate what I’ve been doing. It’s an honor to represent the Raiders as the winner.”
In part because of an undisclosed training camp illness that kept him out until Aug. 16, Streater found himself behind on the depth chart behind new additions Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, and then Andre Holmes and Seth Roberts.
In the offseason, the Raiders retained Streater’s services at a tender level of $2.356 million despite playing in just three games in 2014 (catching nine passes for 84 yards) before being lost for the season with a broken leg.
Considering Holmes was a lower-tendered player at $1.542 million, it was an indication Streater was expected to at the least be a contributing member on Sundays along with Cooper and Crabtree.
But it hasn’t worked out that way. Roberts earned the job as the slot receiver and has 21 receptions for 352 yards and four touchdowns. Holmes, despite comparatively minimal playing time, also has four touchdown catches and is averaging 18.8 yards on his eight receptions.
(That’s right — Derek Carr has thrown eight of his 24 touchdown passes to his No. 3 and 4 wide receivers).
Streater? He’s the same positive presence in the locker room he was making the team as an undrafted wide receiver out of Temple, one of G.M. Reggie McKenzie’s biggest finds in his first year.
“I’ve always been a team guy. I’ve been on both sides, playing, and not playing,” Streater said. “I know how much the other receivers appreciate me, helping them out. I’m not going to be a bad teammate. That’s not who I am. We all came in wanting to win championships and that’s the mindset you’ve got to have. Everything may not go the way you want it to in the beginning but in the end it’s all going to work out.”
If attrition were to claim a Raiders receiver, Streater plans on being ready.
“You see it happen all the time,” Streater said. “You’ve just got to continue and wait for your moment.”
— Members of the U.S. Marines will be at bins at Gates A, B, C and D to accept unwrapped toys valued at $20 or monetary donations from 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. for the Toys for Tots program which distributes toys to children in need within the community.
Bins will also be at the BART entrance and in Raiderville.