From fumbling the season opening kick off to kicked off the roster, Yamon Figurs is no longer an Oakland Raider. Yesterday, the team released their fist string kick returner to make room for offensive lineman Erik Pears.
Tom Cable has stated that the return duties will be divided up between Johnnie Lee Higgins and rookie Jacoby Ford though he did not specify which will handle kicks and which will handle punts.
Figurs is perhaps the best symbol of the current state of Raider football in 2010. With high hopes for the Silver and Black, Raider Nation experienced a major let down with the poor performance in week one. Figurs putting the ball on the ground on the opening kick was an ominous omen that foretold the bleak future which became a 38-13 reality by the conclusion of the game.
Yamon was brought in during the offseason as a means to ensure the Raiders weren’t as inept in the return game as they were in 2009. Despite some ball security issues during the preseason, Figurs won the job only to lose his roster spot one week into the season.
Now Figurs, like his former team, is scrambling to find new solutions. However, it is a long season and as we know all too well things can change from week to week. Figurs is gone for now, but much like the Raiders, there is plenty of football left to make a comeback.
For now, the hope is that Higgins can rediscover his form from ’08 that made him a feared special teams weapon.