After a Thursday Night Football contest against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8, the Miami Dolphins continue their three-week prime-time streak with a Sunday Night Football game against the Oakland Raiders in Week 9. The Raiders looked like a contender in the AFC last year before quarterback Derek Carr was injured and missed the end of the season and the team’s Wildcard game against the Houston Texans.
Will the Raiders return to the 12-3 team they were before Carr’s injury, or will they be the team that was outscored 51-20 in Week 17 and the Wildcard contest? Will the addition of running back Marshawn Lynch be enough to push Oakland deeper into the playoffs?
We continue our look at the Dolphins’ 2017 opponents with a closer look at the Raiders with the help of Silver and Black Pride.
Notable free agent additions
TE Jared Cook, WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson, OT Marshall Newhouse, LB Jelani Jenkins, QB EJ Manuel
Notable free agent departures
OT Menelik Watson, LB Malcolm Smith, DT Stacy McGee, RB Latavius Murray, CB DJ Hayden, TE Mychal Rivera, DT Dan Williams (cut), WR Andre Holmes, QB Matt McGloin, LB Daren Bates, S Brynden Trawick, S Nate Allen
Acquired Marshawn Lynch from Seahawks
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies
1st round pick Gareon Conley as slot corner, 2nd round pick Obi Melifonwu as hybrid LB/S, 3rd round pick Eddie Vanderdoes in rotation at DT/DE spot, 5th round pick Marquel Lee at inside linebacker, 7th round pick Shalom Luani on special teams.
Biggest offseason addition
Marshawn Lynch. As far as free agents are concerned, it’s Jared Cook. He and Lynch are the only who will for sure immediately step into starting role.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp
It’s always Marshawn Lynch. Mainly because he’s such a strong personality, but also because he’s playing for his hometown team after coming out of retirement and everyone wants to know if he can return to his All Pro form at age 31.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp
Will the Raiders add another inside linebacker? They still don’t have an answer at the position. Last year’s starter Perry Riley Jr hasn’t been re-signed and hasn’t signed anywhere else, so there is still a chance he could return or they could add another free agent linebacker. They cut two linebackers recently which adds to the possibility.
Notable injuries heading into training camp
2016 2nd round pick Jihad Ward had offseason foot surgery and will miss part of camp. Austin Howard had offseason shoulder surgery and there’s a chance the team could release him once he passes his physical. If not, he will join the competition at right tackle with Marshall Newhouse who also missed offseason practices with an undisclosed injury. Other notable injuries include reserve center Jon Feliciano and defensive lineman Darius Latham. At this time only Ward is not expected to be ready for the start of camp.
Miami Dolphins 2017 season schedule:
vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Setpember 10, 1pm
at Los Angeles Chargers
September 17, 4:05pm
at New York Jets
September 24, 1pm
vs. New Orleans Saints (London)
October 1, 9:30am
vs. Tennessee Titans
October 8, 1pm
at Atlanta Falcons
October 15, 1pm
vs. New York Jets
October 22, 1pm
vs. Oakland Raiders
November 5, 8:30pm (SNF)
at Carolina Panthers
November 13, 8:30pm (MNF)
at New England Patriots
November 26, 1pm
vs. Denver Broncos
December 3, 1pm
vs. New England Patriots
December 11, 8:30pm (MNF)
at Buffalo Bills
December 17, 1pm
at Kansas City Chiefs
December 24, 1pm
vs. Buffalo Bills
December 31, 1pm