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Three things to watch in Raiders preseason opener

Raiders kickoff preseason in Arizona

John Dickinson
August 12, 2017 - 1:18 pm

Who is in? Who is out?

Derek Carr is expected to play limited snaps, if any. Marshawn Lynch is likely to sit out along with Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack who both missed multiple practices within the last week. First round draft pick Gareon Conley remains on the PUP list with what GM Reggie McKenzie called “shin splints” on July 31. Conley tweeted on Thursday that he did not in fact have shin splints. The Raiders have offered no further clarification. Rookie Obi Melifonwu is also among those unlikely to see action in the desert.


On offense

With Donald Penn still holding out, the Raiders will start two new offensive tackles to begin the preseason. Marshall Newhouse will be called upon to protect Derek Carr’s blind side until Penn’s contract stalemate can be worked out. Newhouse was originally signed to play right tackle. Vadal Alexander will get the nod at right tackle.

DeAndre Washington has had a great beginning to camp. He figures to get the bulk of the carries along with Marshawn Lynch and Jalen Richard in the regular season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Washington is the Raiders leading rusher in 2017.

WR K.J. Brent has impressed in camp after spending a year on the practice squad.


On defense

How will rookie Marquel Lee look starting at inside linebacker? The job appears to be his to lose as the preseason kicks off.

TJ Carrie has emerged looking for a bigger role as a possible starting cornerback on the outside opposite David Amerson. How will the Raiders use Sean Smith who has been shifted inside at times during camp and into a hybrid role where he covers tight ends.

Keep an eye on rookie DT Eddie Vanderdoes who Derek Carr compared to Justin Tuck when he met with reporters this week.

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