The Raiders used a seventh-round pick on Andre Debose hoping he’d be the dynamic return man missing from this roster for so long.
While the Florida product never became a consistent college receiver, he was excellent in the kicking game. Debose had speed and excellent burst that would translate at the NFL level. That much was apparent during the team’s offseason program.
Debose won’t get to prove himself worthy this year. He suffered an Achilles tear that prompted the Raiders to waive him with an injury designation on Wednesday afternoon. If he clears waivers, he’ll land on the Raiders injured reserve list.
The team could sever ties with an injury settlement or allow him to rehab as a Raider in hopes he can return to form next season.
With Debose out, enter veteran return man Trindon Holliday. The team signed him on Wednesday in a corresponding move.
The LSU product played for three different teams in 2014, and last drew a paycheck from the 49ers near the end of last season. He was cut earlier this year.
The 5-foot-5 speed demon was originally a Texans’ sixth-round draft pick. He never really caught on -– he has had ball security issues -- but his physical gifts were always worth a gamble. He has returned four touchdowns (two kickoffs, two punts) in his career.
Holliday should compete for a spot returning punts and kickoffs. Without Debose, T.J. Carrie is the favorite in the mix for those jobs. The team might prefer Carrie stay away from special teams considering he’s slated to be a starting cornerback.
The Raiders long for explosiveness in the return game, and Holliday will be considered in that role, among others.