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Raiders special teams receive a boost from WR Johnny Holton

Updated September 1, 2017 - 12:41 am

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Johnny Holton consumed double-teams Thursday night in punt coverage, eating up the attention of jammers by chomping through contact.

As he should.

This is his meal ticket.

Holton was not the only Raiders wide receiver who stood out in a 17-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks that concluded the team’s preseason. But he impressed in arguably the most important area, being the gunner that special teams coordinator Brad Seely needs him to be.

The Raiders face significant turnover on special teams from 2016, needing core contributors to emerge.

Holton successfully fended off multiple double-teams in the first quarter to show he’s up for the task.

On offense, undrafted rookie Keon Hatcher had the biggest night of the wide receivers, catching five of six passes for 48 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown. He narrowly missed a toe-tapping sideline reception, the effort strong enough to inspire a challenge from coach Jack Del Rio.

Notable

— The Raiders went winless this preseason for the first time since 2011. They finished 8-8 that regular season.

— Undrafted rookie linebacker LaTroy Lewis recorded his third sack of the preseason. He also returned a fumble for a 65-yard touchdown last Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys.

— Left tackle Donald Penn (holdout) and cornerback Gareon Conley (shin) did not play. Penn is expected to see a full workload in the Sept. 10 season opener against the Tennessee Titans. Conley’s absence was not a surprise; he practiced Tuesday for the first time since June 13.

—  There was no sign of safety Obi Melinonwu, the team’s rookie second-round pick, or linebacker Cory James at the stadium. Melifonwu missed the bulk of training camp with a left ankle injury. He made his exhibition debut in Dallas but did not practice on Tuesday. James didn’t make the trip to Dallas with an undisclosed injury.

— The Raiders rested rookie third-round pick Eddie Vanderdoes, fifth-round pick Marquel Lee and seventh-round pick Treyvon Hester. In all, five of the team’s nine draft selections did not play. Lee, at linebacker, could have used the reps. But James’ situation might have influenced the need to preserve him for Week 1.

— Delisa Lynch, running back Marshawn Lynch’s mother, lit the Al Davis Torch before the game. The act is a pregame Raiders tradition.

— Cornerback Breon Borders recorded a second-quarter interception. He had help, as linebacker and fellow undrafted rookie Nicholas Morrow provided heavy quarterback pressure. Both are on the bubble entering final roster cuts.

The Raiders must reduce from a 90- to a 53-man roster by 1 p.m. Saturday.

More Raiders: Follow all of our Raiders coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

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

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