Just as I was lamenting on missing the Raiders, the bye week has officially ended as the business of football resumes in the East Bay. Today, Oakland re-signed veteran cornerback Lito Sheppard. As you’ll recall he made a brief cameo in Silver and Black during the preseason only to be left off the 53-man. As you’ll also recall the man that beat out both the vet Sheppard and the upstart rookie Sterling Moore was Joe Porter.
To the surprise of none Porter played poorly when he found himself in the mix due to injuries in the secondary. Even less surprising was that the Raiders released Porter. Aside from blocking a kick in the preseason finale Porter did next to nothing. During the regular season he was lost in coverage and didn’t make many plays on special teams.
Now Sheppard is back to claim what was rightfully his. Perhaps his poor play in the preseason could be attributed to rust. Joining a team halfway through camp – on the heels of a lockout no less – was not an easy chore. Safe to say his opportunity to impress went wanting.
All along the Raiders have needed another vet at corner yet never addressed the issue. Stanford Routt is the only player lining up on the island that isn’t a rookie these days. Chris Johnson hasn’t been healthy at all this season leaving Chimdi Chekwa and DeMarcus Van Dyke to fill the void. Both have impressed in some way yet are still learning on the job and thus are prone to rookie mistakes. With Chekwa nursing injuries of his own, Sheppard’s presence could prove vital if he can rediscover anything that resembles his better days.