The Las Vegas Raiders will play in front of fans for the first time at Allegiant Stadium on Saturday at at 9 p.m. ET when hosting the Seattle Seahawks to open the preseason.
Every coaching staff has a different approach when it comes to who plays in the preseason and how much, especially with there only being three exhibitions this year instead of four. Neither Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll or Raiders head coach Jon Gruden have indicated any how they’ll utilize their respective rosters in the opener, so we’ll see how they play it on Saturday.
Raiders QB Derek Carr is unsure of his status for Saturday and with backup Marcus Mariota out with a leg injury, Carr could be held out as a precaution. Expect to see plenty of NAthan Peterman and new signee Case Cookus to get plenty of action in this one.
Russell Wilson may appear for a series or two for the Seahawks before being yanked for the night on Saturday. Geno Smith and Sean Mannion are battling for the backup role in Seattle, so expect to see plenty of them in Las Vegas.
Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake have the the top two spots on LV’s running back depth chart locked down, so don’t expect much from either beyond a series or two. With Jalen Richard sidelined, this is a prime opportunity for Garrett Groshek, Trey Ragas, and BJ Emmons to get reps.
Similarly with Seattle, Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, and DeeJay Dallas will get minimal reps on Saturday, leaving the door open for the likes of Alex Collins and Nick Bellore to get valuable snaps.
The Raiders lost their top receiver from last season in Nelson Agholor and some believe that Henry Ruggs III can make a leap from year one into year two. For that reason, we probably will see plenty of Ruggs in the first half along with a litany of other Vegas receivers trying to solidify their spots.
In contrast, the Seahawks don’t have much incentive to play DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett beyond a few series or so on Saturday. The emphasis will be on finding a solid No. 3 guy, where someone like Penny Hart, Aaron Fuller, and Cade Johnson can step in and grab that role.
Darren Waller missed several days of camp with an ankle injury, so he most likely will not suit up at all against the Seahawks. Instead, this looks like a job for Foster Moreau to take a bulk of the reps.
On the other side, Gerald Everett and Will Dissly are battling for the top tight end spot in Seattle so expect both of them to receive a lion’s share of snaps in the first half.