HENDERSON (KLAS) – The Las Vegas Raiders are expected to rest most of their starting players in their third and final preseason game Sunday.
The Raiders travel back to their former Northern California stomping grounds to take on the San Francisco 49ers. The 1 p.m. kickoff airs live on 8 News Now.
The last preseason game is a good chance for coaches to evaluate players. The Raiders will cut their roster from 80 to 53 players by Tuesday.
Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson said he expects to sit most starting players to avoid the injury bug that’s taken hold of the team in recent weeks.
“We want our team to be fresh when we open the season,” said Olson. “We felt like we’ve gotten good practices, not only… with the Rams but also the practice we’ve had out here.”
Most NFL teams are being cautious with starters, as they play a 17-game regular-season schedule for the first time in league history.
One player that hopes to make big strides this weekend is Divine Deablo. The rookie from Virginia Tech has been hurt most of training camp. Deablo played safety and linebacker in college and hopes he has the skills to succeed in the NFL.
“I’m definitely getting time to Sunday,” said Deablo. “I’m just looking forward to being out there with my teammates.”
Las Vegas defensive coordinator Gus Bradley spoke highly of Deablo Thursday, noting his speed, length, height, and ability to cover tight ends and running backs in passing situations.
“(Deablo has) the size and he’s got the coverage skill set because of the safety experience,” said Bradley. “So, you know his big question is… I think he’ll come along, he’s not where he needs to be in the pass concept yet, but we like the skill set.”
The Raiders have gotten help at their banged-up linebacker spot by acquiring Denzel Perryman from the Carolina Panthers in a swap of draft picks. The Raiders will send a 2022 sixth-round pick to Carolina and get a seventh-rounder that year and Perryman back in the deal that will be official once Perryman passes a physical.
The Raiders needed help at linebacker after losing both starter Nicholas Morrow (foot) and backup Javin White (knee) last week to injuries. Coach Jon Gruden said Wednesday that both players were likely “going to be out for a while” with Morrow’s injury more serious.
The Raiders open the regular season Monday, Sept. 13, when they host the Baltimore Ravens in a nationally televised game at Allegiant Stadium.
The Associated Press contributed to this report