In the wake of Shawntae Spencer’s right ankle sprain, the Oakland Raiders signed this tuesday cornerback Brandian Ross, in addition to filling two practice squad spots with CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and DT Vaughn Meatoga. Also, head coach Dennis Allen announced that linebacker Rolando McClain suffered a concussion against the Dolphins and might not be able to play against the Steelers next sunday.
Reggie McKenzie once again turned to the Green Bay Packers, the franchise where he spent 17 years as an administrator, to find new faces for the Raiders defensive backfield. After signing former Packers CB Pat Lee and FS Brandon Underwood (released on September 7th) early in the year, the GM brought Brandian Ross out of Green Bay’s practice squad, a 6’0 tall cornerback out of Youngstown State, who went undrafted in 2011. Ross, who will be 23 years old on September 28th, spent his rookie year in the Packers practice squad and made the 53-man roster in 2012, but got cut a week later, re-signing shortly after to the practice squad. Ross is regarded as a hard-hitting corner, possessing good tackling abilities and being more comfortable playing in off coverages. He also has experience as a safety in college level. The Raiders had one open spot in the active roster due to the release of long snapper Nick Guess.
Ross wasn’t the only CB signed today, as the Silver&Black also added former Cowboys and Jaguars Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. Curiously, neither of them was part of the group of 4 corners who worked out for the Raiders yesterday. “A.O.A.” was a 4th round pick by Dallas out of Indiana (Pa.) and was regarded as a intriguing prospect in the 2010 Draft due to his excellent athletic ability. The 6’1, 207 player recorded a 4.32 seconds 40 yard dash in the NFL Combine. Owusu-Ansah can also be used as a FS, and was tested as a WR briefly. He’s also a returner, averaging 21.4 yards per kickoff return, and 7.8 yards per punt return. So far in his career, Owusu-Ansah hasn’t been able to translate his athleticism into effective playing time and impact, being used almost exclusively as a special teams player. He was waived by the Cowboys before the start of this season.
Meatoga re-signed for the Raiders practice squad, where he spent some time earlier in the season. The 6’1, 294 undrafted rookie played his college years for Hawaii and is regarded as a developmental 3-tech defensive tackle.
Aside from the roster movements, the big news for the day was the fact that starting middle linebacker Rolando McClain wasn’t able to practice due to a concussion suffered against the Dolphins, the first of his football career. McClain states that he doesn’t know exactly when he got concussed, but started to feel differently during the game. He also felt nauseous during the trip back to the west coast and was later diagnosed with the injury. Now, he must pass all the mandatory tests in order to play against the Steelers on Sunday. Therefore, his status for the game might be unknown until moments before the contest. If McClain can’t go, look for Travis Goethel to be his substitute.