Las Vegas Raiders: Biggest questions heading into 2021 training camp
Is Damon Arnette really an afterthought in the defensive backfield?
According to a recent report from The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, Damon Arnette has “become almost an afterthought” in the defensive backfield. The Raiders had already have a starting corner in Trayvon Mullen and appeared to have found the starter opposite him in former Charger Casey Hayward.
The veteran corner was excellent in the slot over the years for the Chargers but he looks to be playing exclusively on the outside for Las Vegas.
The question now becomes what will Arnette’s role be this season and where does he fit in with this defense? From the report, it seems that he will be relegated to a bench role or could move to the slot ahead of Nevin Lawson.
It is disappointing that a player taken in the first round is already seeing his role reduced but this may ultimately be a good thing for his long-term development.
Last year, Arnette beat out veteran Prince Amukamara for the starting job but it was clearly too much too soon for the young player. It was already a difficult offseason for him given the COVID restrictions but the added challenge of dealing with a broken thumb made for then an even more difficult transition to the NFL.
With all of the injuries and turnover that the Raiders have had in the defensive backfield recently, we can still expect Arnette to play here and there and even start some games if he is indeed benched. How this plays out over the next few months will be very telling on how the Raiders view Arnette as a player right now.