NASHVILLE, Tenn. –- David Amerson didn’t deserve to get demoted, but got pulled from the starting lineup just the same.
He became the Raiders’ No. 3 cornerback after TJ Carrie moved back from safety when Nate Allen got healthy, apparently behind DJ Hayden in the pecking order.
Hayden started two games opposite Carrie and struggled in each while Amerson saw his snaps sliced in half.
On Sunday, the Raiders made it right. Amerson was back with the starting unit, and showed why he should stay there in a 24-21 victory over the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium.
He had an interception and six passes defensed, the largest total by an NFL player since 2013. He only had two tackles because he allowed so few completions.
“David really did a nice job,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s been a great addition since he got here. He’s a good player and a really good teammate. He has fought hard every day and in every rep. He’s very competitive, and he got the start today. He played throughout and I thought he played very well.”
He played the entire game. Hayden didn’t play a defensive snap. Del Rio was asked about Hayden’s lack of activity, and said he rewarded the guys who have played best.
Amerson has been the team’s best corner for a few weeks now, and has added some talent to the secondary after being claimed off waivers in Week 3. The second-round pick was cut by Washington just before, a real low point for a talented player.
“After I got released, I felt like I had something to prove,” Amerson said. “I feel like I can be a good cornerback in this league. I am a big competitor. I like challenges and people that challenge me. I like to rise to the occasion.”