The Las Vegas Raiders are starting to make their cuts to get down to the 53-man roster for Week 1, and these guys are likely headed to the practice squad.
The recent expansion of the practice squad and the new rules that were applied in 2020 have brought increased importance to the group, and the Las Vegas Raiders plan to take advantage of it. These new rules allow for players to be activated to the roster and become regular contributors while also allowing for young players to develop further while saving a roster spot.
In recent seasons, the Raiders have used these rules to promote impact players such as Chris Smith and Tyron Johnson while also allowing for young players like DJ Turner and Lester Cotton to develop.
This year, the Raiders have a plethora of players who should gain some extra time on the roster to further develop. The practice squad will also have some veterans on it to be ready in a pinch. The Raiders are likely to add some outside players at some point, but throughout the preseason, certain players have made their talent known.
Young players such as DJ Turner, Tashawn Bower, and Luke Masterson are battling for final roster spots, but they would almost be guaranteed for the practice squad, if not. Let’s check on some other players who are likely to end up on the practice squad.
Las Vegas Raiders offensive players destined for the 2022 practice squad
Justin Hall is one player who has made himself a name at Raiders camp. While small at 5’8, he has flashed immense speed and quickness. Hall is a candidate for a year of development because his raw potential is too intriguing.
Hall finished college as Ball State’s all-team leading receiver in receptions and yards and had a reception in every single game he played in college, a streak of 54 games.
Hall clearly has talent in the receiving game and a year to refine his route running could benefit him greatly. Hall’s main ticket is his return ability. Hall had been making a push for a roster spot at the beginning of camp for his ability to make people miss and be an explosive returner, but the Raiders will likely opt for another player that provides more depth elsewhere such as Darius Phillips.
Last season, the Raiders kept three receivers on the practice squad, one being Stoner. Stoner had major fans on the previous staff and likely would have been fighting for a roster spot this season had they been retained.
However, Stoner is clearly at the bottom of the depth chart again but still has fans. Stoner played some football for the Raiders last season, however, mostly appeared on special teams.
Stoner has spent all of training camp on PUP until Wednesday, which is significant. The Raiders could have released Stoner with a failed physical designation at the start of camp, but the new staff clearly saw something they liked enough to keep him.
The PUP list is typically for more established players or young players that had recently been drafted, but Stoner’s stay was significant. The new regime clearly was willing to wait to see what Stoner could do and will likely want a longer look and result in a practice squad spot for him.
Garbers was one of the lowest-ranked quarterbacks in the 2022 draft class due to his lack of physical traits. However, Garbers excels as a game-managing, technically sound, smart player. He has good footwork, a solid pocket presence, and has experience running an NFL offense.
Garbers has always projected as a game manager, solid backup at the NFL level in the mold of Chase Daniel.
In all likelihood, the Raiders will only keep two quarterbacks and will bring the 3rd one to the practice squad. As of now, Jarrett Stidham is beating out Nick Mullens for that job and it seems more unlikely that Mullens would want to return to the practice squad as a veteran.
Raiders TE Darren Waller is seeking a new contract extension, despite his current one already taking him into his age-32 season in the NFL.
Garbers, meanwhile, fits the mold of a young quarterback for McDaniels to mold and help grow. The fact that the Raiders wanted to see him in the opening preseason game speaks volumes and if he continues to get reps, he should be a lock to return.