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Raiders report: Starting fullback released, could return

Updated November 17, 2023 - 2:03 pm

The Raiders have released fullback Jakob Johnson, but aren’t ruling out the possibility he could return to the team.

Johnson, a veteran of five NFL seasons, has spent the past two with the Raiders.

The surprise release appears to be a case of the Raiders needing to free space on the roster, perhaps on a short-term basis. Interim coach Antonio Pierce indicated Johnson could be a candidate to return.

“You know how the league works. It’s day in and day out. Things change, things come up, and you have to make tough roster decisions,” Pierce said Friday. “But we’ll be fine there, and hopefully something works out in the near future to get him back.”

Johnson, who missed the past two games with a concussion, came to the Raiders from the Patriots, where he played under Josh McDaniels for three seasons.

Johnson has been a blocker and occasional pass catcher throughout his career. Despite playing in 62 games, he has never officially carried the ball as a runner. He is a key contributor on special teams.

Injury report

Starting left tackle Kolton Miller is questionable for Sunday’s road game against the Dolphins.

Miller missed last week’s game with a shoulder injury. He practiced in a limited capacity Thursday and Friday and is trending in the right direction to return.

“He’s a nucleus, he’s a captain, he’s a leader,” Pierce said. “He’s one of the best left tackles in football, in my opinion. Obviously when we have him, we’re a better team. If we don’t, next man up mentality.”

Starting left guard Dylan Parham is also questionable with a calf injury after limited practices Thursday and Friday. Safety Roderic Teamer practiced in full Friday and is the only other player listed as questionable.

Cornerback Amik Robertson got in a full practice Friday as he works his way through the concussion protocol. He does not have a game-day designation and is expected to play.

The Dolphins ruled out wide receiver Chase Claypool (knee) and offensive linemen Rob Hunt (hamstring) and Rob Jones (knee).

Tight end Durham Smythe (ankle), fullback Alec Ingold (foot), wide receiver Braxton Berrios (hamstring) and running back De’Von Achane (knee) are questionable.

Achane, a dynamic rookie, is in line to return from injured reserve.

Dangerous play

The season-ending ankle injury suffered by Ravens tight end Mark Andrews during Thursday’s game against the Bengals has again renewed the debate about whether the NFL should ban the hip-drop tackle in which a defender ties up a ball carrier and falls to the ground.

The players’ association has recommended not instituting a formal rule against the play, but it is likely to be examined in the offseason because of several injuries sustained while executing the maneuver.

While Pierce is an aggressive defensive coach just as he was as a player, he acknowledged it might be time to legislate the play out of the game.

“Old school or new school, it’s right school,” Pierce said. “I’m always about getting yourself in the best position to face a football player up. When you jump on the side of him, we really don’t teach that. We try to teach, same foot, same shoulder, and that’s what we work on every day.”

Just another opponent

Pierce is well aware of how explosive the Dolphins’ offense can be, but he wants to make sure his team isn’t in awe of its opponent.

“Different jersey colors, different location, different scenery, but they do put their pants on one leg at a time, just like us,” Pierce said. “They strap the helmets up just like us. And when we get there on Sunday, they have to play football, just like us.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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