There were some great things to come from the Las Vegas Raiders‘ Monday night 33-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens, but there was also some bad. The team got beat up with injuries. Starting right guard Denzelle Good has already been ruled out for the season and there could be more bad news on the way. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy had to be carted off the field due to a knee injury during the fourth quarter, which is never a good sign.
If he’s not out for the season, he’s almost certainly going to be out for at least a number of weeks. With McCoy’s status not looking good, the Raiders have decided to add some help on the defensive line. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the team is signing defensive tackle Damion Square off the Chicago Bears practice squad.
Square is a natural fit with the Raiders as he played the last six years with the Chargers, four of which were under defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. The coach has already brought in a few former Chargers like Casey Hayward, Darius Philon and Denzel Perryman. Square will now join his former coach and teammates in Las Vegas.
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Raiders!
Square Makes Sense for Raiders
Picking up Square right now makes a lot of sense for the Raiders. He spent four years in Bradley’s defense, including last season. He should have no problem readjusting to the system. With the season now in full swing, it’s good to find players who won’t have a steep learning curve.
Square isn’t a huge difference-maker but he is a veteran with a lot of experience. He’s played in 92 career games, starting in 24 of them. Quinton Jefferson and Johnathan Hankins are the starters for the Raiders at defensive tackle so they just need depth while McCoy is injured. Square will provide that while having a strong grasp of the defense that the team runs. He should be on the field as soon as this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers as long as everything checks out.
Raiders DL Looks Greatly Improved
It’s just one game but it’s clear that the Raiders’ defensive line has improved. The Ravens have a good offensive line and they couldn’t stop Las Vegas from getting after Lamar Jackson. According to Next Gen Stats, the quarterback was under pressure on 54.5% of his snaps. That’s the highest total the team has had in a game since at least 2016.
Much of that was thanks to Maxx Crosby and his excellent game. The third-year defensive end was close to unblockable as he notched two sacks on the night. If he develops into a Pro Bowl-level pass rusher, the Raiders could have an elite pass-rushing duo between Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue. Having a great defensive line would go a long way in the team’s defense improving as a whole. The early signs are strong but the group will have to prove they can be consistent before anybody is going to fully trust them.
READ NEXT: Raiders’ Jon Gruden Offers Telling Insight on Henry Ruggs