ALAMEDA, Calif. — With injuries piling up at linebacker, the Raiders made two moves this week to fortify the position.
The team promoted linebacker Justin Phillips off its practice squad Wednesday, two days after signing linebacker Dakota Allen off the Los Angeles Rams’ practice squad.
The Raiders put linebacker Marquel Lee on injured reserve and released wide receiver Ryan Grant to make room on their roster.
“Unfortunately we had to make some changes to help solve some of our issues,” coach Jon Gruden said Wednesday. “That was a tough decision for us. We’re going to miss (Grant). He’s a good player.”
Linebackers Vontaze Burfict (elbow, knee, shoulder), Nicholas Morrow (ankle) and Kyle Wilber (quad) were on the field for Wednesday’s practice, but all three were limited. Gruden said he wasn’t sure if they would play Sunday at Indianapolis.
The Rams selected Allen in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL draft, but he didn’t make their 53-man roster. He said Wednesday after his first practice that he was a little surprised to get the opportunity.
“(But) I didn’t hesitate to hop on a plane and get out here at all,” he said.
Recognizable for his featured role on Season 2 of the Netflix show “Last Chance U,” Allen made an impression on Gruden in the first preseason game against the Raiders in August. He played 25 snaps and had four tackles.
“He’s got life in his legs,” Gruden said. “He’s a contact player. He’s got some range. Physical player (who) just needs a chance.”
Allen, an All-Big 12 selection from Texas Tech, said he was struck by the Raiders’ aggressive defense in the teams’ joint practices and the preseason game.
“I love how they play, I love how aggressive they are, because that’s the same mindset we had in L.A.,” Allen said.
Phillips has been with the Raiders for a few weeks after signing with their practice squad following roster cuts at the beginning of the season. An undrafted free agent from Oklahoma State, he initially signed with the Dallas Cowboys in April.
With the Raiders’ injury issues, there’s a chance Allen and Phillips could be active Sunday.
Brown on the field
Right tackle Trent Brown (ankle, knee) was on the field for Wednesday’s practice in a limited capacity.
Brown played most of Sunday’s game at Minnesota. That he was able to practice to begin the week is a good sign for his availability for Week 4.
The only other players on the injury report were expected nonparticipants: right guard Gabe Jackson (knee) and wide receiver/return specialist Dwayne Harris (ankle).