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Five Raiders to watch Thursday against Seattle Seahawks

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Raiders wide receiver Johnny Holton gets his final chance to cement his roster spot.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Raiders wide receiver Johnny Holton gets his final chance to cement his roster spot. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

OAKLAND — The Raiders enter their final preseason game Thursday night against the Seattle Seahawks with a roster that’s well settled.

Some backend pieces still need final decisions, but more practice squad spots are probably on the line than active rosters spots.

Don’t expect to see the starters at all. Coach Jack Del Rio hasn’t divulged that and quarterback Derek Carr said earlier this week he didn’t know if he was playing or not.

But Del Rio sat all the starters last year in the preseason finale and has even more reason to do it this year with players such as Carr, Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper coming off Pro Bowl seasons.

Mack admitted part of him is ready to just fast-forward past this game and get to the regular season already.

“Yeah, you could say that,” Mack said. “But I’m excited for the younger guys. Get to see them take advantage of this opportunity. … It’s going to be exciting to see how they make plays.”

Here are five players to keep an eye on Thursday night at the Coliseum:

Wide receiver Johnny Holton: The fifth receiver spot — assuming the Raiders keep five — has been one of the few openings the team’s had to figure out and it’ll come down to the wire.

Holton has been the most impressive throughout camp, especially since he brings ability in the return game. He’s caught five passes for 78 yards in the preseason.

Holton should play plenty on Thursday and a big game could lock in his spot.

“I pretty much want to do the same thing I’ve been doing, just going out there playing football, having fun with my teammates,” Holton said of his approach toward Thursday night. “Overall, I just want to get better than I was last week. I want to improve every day and get better.”

Wide receiver K.J. Brent: Holton’s top competition is Brent, who has the benefit of size at 6-foot-4 to Holton’s 6-foot frame.

Brent had his first three catches of the preseason last week when he caught three balls for 54 yards. He also had a nice 28-yard catch in the first exhibition game that was waved off by a very questionable pass interference call.

Whichever of these players doesn’t make the 53-man roster will likely be brought back on to the practice squad as long as another team doesn’t sign them, so both could be part of the Raiders future.

Quarterback Connor Cook: It’s going to be Cook’s first extended run in an NFL game (and probably his last for a while). The No. 3 quarterback expects to play the majority of the preseason finale and it will be important repetitions for him and the Raiders.

Backup quarterback Matt McGloin is a free agent after this season (and currently the highest paid quarterback on the roster, ahead of even Carr). The Raiders will need to figure out if Cook is their backup of the future and they hope this will be their last real look at him until next season.

“All the stuff that I’ve learned thus far, go use it,” Cook said. “This is time to cut loose and have fun with the guys.”

Defensive end/linebacker James Cowser: The undrafted pass rusher from Southern Utah didn’t see a defensive snap in last week’s loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Is that a sign the Raiders are trying to hide him so they may be able to sneak him on to the practice squad? Don’t rule that out, although there seems to be room on the roster for a fourth pass rusher behind Mack, Bruce Irvin and fellow rookie Shilique Calhoun. Cowser should get a chance to play a lot Thursday and it’d be nice to see him excel against some NFL backups.

Safety Dewey McDonald: The third-year player seemed to be on the rise early in training camp and then it came crashing down in the first preseason game. Keith McGill unofficially moved ahead of him on the safety depth chart and has stayed there.

McDonald’s now sitting squarely on the bubble, especially because another safety in Brynden Trawick has been making plays left and right in special teams. This is McDonald’s last chance to prove himself.

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Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • R8erEduc8er

    He has a good shot of making their roster as the 3rd RB.

  • Charlie

    He helped us to a 12-4 record in 1985.
    As I said QB’s were interchangeable.

  • Guest123

    I don’t have the video but I remember it being a thick scrum of bodies. almost like a dog pile. if there was a gap where you could see a lineman having the space to decide to move one way or the other, I’d agree it would be egregious and unnecessary. But that angle it’s really tough to flag anyone. It’s the mud pits in there close.

  • R8erEduc8er

    Richard looked like the better run with the small sample size. D-Washington looked like the better reciever/route runner out of the backfield. Both can help us.

  • Guest123

    He was a garbage QB Charlie. Nobody remembers regular season records. Schottenheimer got fired after 14-2. People only remember finishers.

  • Remember when you used to post endlessly about 1st round picks on the O-line? And using 1st round picks on WR’s and CB’s was what bad teams do?
    Yeah, we all remember it too.

  • R8der4evr

    No he doesn’t waive 2nd round picks that easy

  • Charlie

    You have made my point.
    QB’s were interchangeable.
    A back up QB got us to the playoffs.

    We built championship teams from the inside out.

  • Front loaded are bad contracts for teams and good for players. Back loaded you can cut them and get out of non-guaranteed money.

  • Charlie

    No. I always said HIGH round picks on BOTH lines. (rounds 1-3).

    Geez.

    look when art Shell and Howie Long were drafted.

    Why do you think I have been saying this?

  • Guest123

    no championship in Raiders history was ever built on a garbage QB.

  • R8der4evr

    LMAO

  • Charlie

    It is about being competitive.
    Wilson got us to the playoffs. Lamonica got us to a super bowl.

    You can not refute these facts.

    Then you have Plunkett who we picked up for $100 off the waiver wire.

    The Raiders dynasty teams were built form the inside out.

    QB’s were expendable. Remember we traded Stabler for Pastorini.

  • Health fairs/conventions are hilarious.
    Offer free Financial Planning, financial services (cost on the street usually a few hundred bucks) you get some maybe’s, will see.
    Free pens and chapstic?? Lines out the door!!!
    People are such sheep.

  • R8der4evr

    Murray is the unquestioned starter, Washington is that all purpose back that Helu used to be FOR THE SKINS, Jones and Olawale, who makes the 53? I say GA3 just off his speed alone.

  • Ken SnakeLer

    NEW POST, BRUHS…

  • GA is not making it ahead of Richard.

  • Ken SnakeLer

    nope.

  • Charlie you are lying. Just stop it.
    You posted one postseason the list of every postseason teams tackles draft slot. For like 8 months.

  • And 3rd round picks were never part of it. Never.
    Stop being Hillary of the blog.

  • Dakota

    ……..yeah, let’s say Gisele slides down a rainbow and asks you to save her from Tom Brady by making sweet love to her for six straight years. Probably more realistic than your scenario.

  • Mean Machine

    The game of football has changed so much in my lifetime. The size and speed of the players, the year round coverage…heck it used to be 1 game a week on NBC, CBS, then Monday night came along.
    It’s still fun for me though, and joining this chat site keeps me young with a chuckle or two.

  • Mean Machine

    Is this the new posting and if I do the reply is that to you or the whole group?

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