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Raiders idle at trade deadline but made splash before it

Updated October 31, 2017 - 7:39 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Raiders made no transactions Tuesday, but they arguably were winners at the NFL’s trade deadline nonetheless.

They acquired someone they coveted at a position they needed — 15 days earlier.

A usually ho-hum date on the league’s calendar saw an unusual amount of activity. While the Raiders were not involved in any of the five trades that were processed before Tuesday’s 1 p.m. cut-off, they signed veteran NaVorro Bowman on Oct. 16 to address their inside-linebacker need.

This move trumped a deadline deal.

The San Francisco 49ers had shopped Bowman before releasing him Oct. 13. Signing him rather than trading for him served the Raiders well, as they first negotiated a one-year, $2.6 million contract that is more team-friendly than the deal they would’ve otherwise inherited. No draft compensation had to be spared, either, to acquire him.

Beyond that, Bowman has played the past two games.

The first saw him be instrumental in a 31-30 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite being signed on the Monday before a Thursday game, he played 60 of 64 defensive snaps for a team with linebackers Cory James (knee) and Marquel Lee (ankle) inactive. Rookie linebacker Nicholas Morrow (ankle) also was at less than 100 percent.

Lee remained sidelined last Sunday in a 34-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Bowman totaled a team-high 11 tackles in both games. The latter was James’ first in which he played beside him. James had eight solo tackles, including three for a loss.

“He helps me anticipate the plays and tells me what plays are coming,” James said Tuesday. “I feel like we feed off each other.”

Coach Jack Del Rio added:“He’s a good football player. He’s come in, (and) two weeks in a row he’s led our team in tackles. He’s taking charge. He’s been a very positive addition to our football team. His experience, his toughness, his love for the game; it’s a positive for us.”


Gabe Jackson missed an Oct. 8 game against the Baltimore Ravens to a foot injury. His status for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins is now in question.

The Raiders do not release participation reports for Tuesday walk-throughs, but the right guard apparently was sidelined for it. He was spotted afterward walking with a protective boot over his left foot at the IMG Academy, where the team is practicing this week. More about his availability will be known over the course of the week.

Oakland will submit an injury report following Wednesday’s practice.

Jackson’s status isn’t the only one to monitor.

Fullback Jamize Olawale (hamstring) exited Sunday in the second quarter and did not return. Wide receiver Seth Roberts (illness) dressed for the contest but was deemed unable to play. Safety Karl Joseph (groin), Lee (ankle), cornerback David Amerson (foot) and cornerback Gareon Conley (shin) were inactive with injuries. Conley is not expected to practice this week.


— Running back Marshawn Lynch figures to be a full participant on Wednesday. He was scheduled to arrive in Sarasota on Tuesday evening, a team official said.

— Running back Elijah Hood, cut on Monday to create roster space for Lynch’s reinstatement, cleared waivers Tuesday. He is expected to be re-signed to the practice squad.

— Safety Obi Melifonwu (knee, injured reserve) remains on track to make his NFL debut Sunday. “I honestly couldn’t tell you what my role is,” Melifonwu said Tuesday. “I’m all for the team. I’m a team player. Whatever that role may be that they need me to fill, I’ll be ready to fill it.” That role figures to begin on special teams, as Raiders coaches work the rookie second-round pick into the fold.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

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