ALAMEDA -– Raiders linebacker Sio Moore hasn’t played defense this preseason. Injury eliminated that chance in the first two games, and he was only given special teams work on Sunday in exhibition No. 3.
Moore was healthy enough to play 10 special teams snaps, but spent time on the bench while his teammates played defense.
Head coach Jack Del Rio said last week that Moore was “competing to be a role player” on defense after missing most of training camp and the offseason program with injury. Moore has 22 starts in his first two NFL seasons, but Raiders apparently don’t need him to return to the lineup with Malcolm Smith and Ray-Ray Armstrong manning the outside linebacker spots.
Thursday’s exhibition finale at Seattle offers one more chance for Moore to play some defense, especially with starters only making cameos against the Seahawks.
“It’s possible we’ll get him in, yeah,” Del Rio said.
It seems like a major change for a player viewed as a foundation piece for this defense prior to Del Rio’s arrival.
“I’m not going to describe it any other way than to say that we’re playing the guys we need to get a look at,” Del Rio said. “We finish our evaluations over this last week.”
Raiders cut players who didn’t fit: The Raiders announced their first wave of roster cuts, which included a few big names and one surprise cut. That was receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, who looked good in practice but didn’t produce much in games. The Raiders are at 75, and will whittle their personnel to 53 on Saturday afternoon.
“Anybody that’s here we felt was a good fit for us and, for anybody that’s not here, we felt like it was time to move on,” Del Rio said. “We appreciate all the hard work, and Kenbrell was a good young man who worked hard. Everybody here worked hard, and we wish them well. We moved on with guys who we think deserve to be here.”
The Raiders also had to keep proper numbers to get through a game without frontline players taking many snaps.
Injury update: Raiders fullback Jamize Olawale returned to practice for the first time in weeks. Defensive end Justin Tuck, receiver Andre Holmes and tight end Clive Walford remain out with injury.