The Raider legacy made his mark last week, rushing for 97 yards and two totes to boot. The separation and breakaway speed that he showcased easily made for the highlights of the game. Nonetheless, his production came against Arizona’s third and fourth tier defensive units, but when talking about Atkinson’s role on the team, should that matter?
It’s not like he is going to be asked to go against a first team unit week in and week out as Murray and Washington are. If anything, this showed the coaching staff that he is a dynamic player whose speed, agility and awareness can be above par at times. Like Holton, however, Atkinson will also have to make his money on special teams. Coverage and maybe even the return game is where he can solidify his position moving forward.
Atkinson’s caveat though, is that he might have the ability to produce on the offensive side of the ball, should push come to shove. A continual performance as we saw last week is all Atkinson can do to make his case to be one of the final 53. Not necessarily touchdown runs of 50 and 30 plus yards, but a knack for moving the chains, ball protection, and of course, outstanding special teams play.
Next: Oakland Raiders to Watch