Raiders key matchup No. 1: Wheeler vs. Lewis


Raiders key matchup No. 1: Wheeler vs. Lewis

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final part in a series that spotlighted three Raiders-Jaguars matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m. (CBS), at the Coliseum.

Matchup No. 3: Rolando McClain vs. Maurice Jones-Drew
Matchup No. 2: Darren McFadden vs. Russell Allen
Raiders LB Philip Wheeler vs. Jaguars TE Marcedes LewisTale of the tape
Wheeler (52): 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, fifth season, Georgia Tech
Lewis (89): 6-foot-6, 272 pounds, seventh season, UCLAALAMEDA -- No doubt Jacksonville is a run-first team that will go as far as tailback Maurice Jones-Drew can carry it. But if the Jaguars decide to get a little froggy with the Raiders on Sunday, might they jump on the passing game with their Pro Bowl tight end?If so, expect Marcedes Lewis to be the focal point of such an attack. And for Philip Wheeler, the Raiders' strongside linebacker, to be there to meet him.Lewis' 14 receptions are tied for the Jacksonville team lead, as are his two touchdown receptions, while his 116 yards receiving rank fourth. He is also considered one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL.Last week, Wheeler found himself covering Atlanta's Hall of Fame-bound Tony Gonzalez for much of the afternoon. So is Lewis a similar tight end?"As far as a good tight end, yeah, (Lewis is) definitely a good tight end," Wheeler said. "Hes a little bit different in terms of his length and speed, so Im looking for high throws and trying to get my hands on some balls try and not let him catch the ball."Two years ago, in the Jaguars' come-from-behind 38-31 defeat of the Raiders in Jacksonville, Lewis caught four passes for 57 yards, including a one-yard TD.Wheeler was not with Oakland then, rather, he was in the same division as the Jaguars with the Indianapolis Colts, the AFC South. So yeah, Wheeler, who has a team-high 44 tackles and two forced fumbles for the Raiders, has an inkling what to expect.Even if he has an added role with the Raiders in that he now wears the communication device in his helmet to speak to the sidelines, as noted by the green dot on his helmet. Wheeler, who last wore the mic in college, has taken over the duties from middle linebacker Rolando McClain, who was taken off the field in the nickel defense last week while Wheeler and rookie Miles Burris stayed on the field for every defensive snap against Atlanta."It gives me a lot of responsibilities and it makes me work harder," Wheeler said of wearing the mic."Its forced me to get in the film room more, so I can make better calls and do whats right for the defense, and Im up to the job."Check in with Lewis later on that count. Even as Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey wants quarterback Blaine Gabbert to run more and make more plays outside of the pocket. Which would call upon the tight end to bail out his QB.

Week after signing with Vikings, ex-Raiders RB Murray undergoes surgery

Week after signing with Vikings, ex-Raiders RB Murray undergoes surgery

A week after signing a deal with the Vikings, former Raiders running back Latavius Murray has undergone ankle surgery.

The Vikings made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

Minnesota issued the following statement regarding the surgery:

"Vikings RB Latavius Murray had successful ankle surgery today. The surgery was performed by Dr. Bob Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina. We were aware of the required surgery prior to signing Latavius on March 16. Latavius is expected to fully recover and be available for training camp."

Murray's deal with the Vikings is reported worth $15 million over three years, but can reportedly be voied after the first year.

Drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Murray became the Raiders' primary running back midway through the 2015 season. In his three years in Oakland, Murray carried the ball 543 times for 2,278 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2015.

Ex-Raiders tight end signs deal with Jaguars

Ex-Raiders tight end signs deal with Jaguars

After four seasons with the Raiders, tight end Mychal Rivera is on the move.

The 2013 sixth-round pick has signed a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team announced.

News of an agreement between the two sides was first reported by ESPN. Terms of the deal were not immediately known.

After playing a prominent role in Oakland his first two seasons, Rivera saw his numbers decrease in 2015 and 2016. This past season, he caught just 18 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown.

In his time with the Raiders, the Tennessee alum caught a total of 146 passes for 1,413 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Raiders signed free agent tight end Jared Cook last week to go with incumbents Clive Walford and Lee Smith.

Shortly after the deal was announced, Rivera took to Instagram to thank Raiders fans.

"Thank You #RaiderNation. It was an honor to wear silver and black for the first 4 years of my NFL career. A kid from LA was drafted to the Bay...and God made a way! Wins, Losses, Blood, Sweat, & Tears made me the player I am today. Better than ever. The values that embody what it is to be a Raider will stick with me for life," Rivera wrote.