Running back Georger Atkinson III’s series of spectacular preseason plays earned him a spot on the Cleveland Browns roster.
Former Raiders coach Hue Jackson, the new coach of the Browns, will get his hands on Atkinson after Cleveland was awarded a waiver claim on the former Granada High and Notre Dame speedster.
Atkinson spent most of the past two years on the Raiders practice squad, with a brief 2014 stint on the active roster. He had issues with ball security, but had been improving as a player and delivered three electric plays during the exhibition games. He had touchdown runs of 53 and 35 yards in the first preseason game at Arizona and added a 1-yard touchdown run and an 81-yard kick return for a score against Seattle on Thursday.
But that wasn’t enough to make a dent in the Raiders’ suddenly crowded field of running backs and return options. The team waived him Saturday when it trimmed the roster to 53. He likely would’ve been a candidate for another season on Oakland’s practice squad had he gone unclaimed.
The Raiders didn’t add any players through the waiver process, either because they didn’t place any claims or weren’t awarded any.
Second-year linebacker Neiron Ball and rookie defensive end/linebacker James Cowser both cleared waivers as injured players and were placed on season-ending injured reserve. Ball has been up and down in his recovery from last year’s knee injury and Cowser suffered a concussion against Seattle.
The Raiders also saw cornerback Neiko Thorpe claimed off waivers by Indianapolis. Unlike Atkinson, he did not have practice squad eligibility and was not going to be part of their future anyway.