Oakland Raiders revamping the linebacker group entering Week 9
By Brad Weiss
The Oakland Raiders may not have made a trade for a linebacker, but they were busy bringing some into the fold via free agency on Tuesday.
The Oakland Raiders will take on an explosive offense this Sunday, as Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions come to town in Week 9. Stafford and the Lions have looked good through the first eight weeks of the season, and come to Oakland fresh off a drubbing of the New York Giants this past Sunday.
Oakland will be returning home for the first time since Week 2, an incredible stretch of travel that saw them land at 3-4 entering this Sunday’s game. In order for the team to win, they will have to have an answer for Stafford, who has already thrown for over 2,000 yards this season, and has 16 touchdowns against only four interceptions.
Last week, the Raiders were short-handed on the defensive side of the ball, especially at linebacker, as Nicholas Morrow has had to step up and start. In addition, the team has been without Marquel Lee, who is not going to be back until at least Week 13, and Vontaze Burfict, who was suspended for the season.
To make matters worse, Justin Phillips is now gone for the season due to a knee injury. To make up for the injuries, the Raiders had to add talent to the linebacker room, and they did that by signing Brandon Marshall and Will Compton on Tuesday.
Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted this out shortly after the trade deadline had passed.
Marshall spent most of the summer with the Raiders, and was actually a surprising cut by the team entering the season. He showed that he was healthy enough to compete, and now that there is an opening on the roster, his leadership should go a long way for this defense moving forward.
Compton, who has also not appeared in a game this season, will be looking to return to the form that made him a tackling machine with the Washington Redskins back in 2015 and 2016. Through those two seasons, he racked up nearly 200 tackles, but has had his issues with injuries ever since.
This was a depleted group entering Tuesday, and while most figured the team would make a trade for a linebacker, adding both Marshall and Compton should make the group better entering the Lions game.