The Raiders have brought back tackle Langston Walker who was a free agent after being cut a few weeks ago by the Buffalo Bills. To make room on the roster, the team has put fullback Oren O’Neal on the waived/injured list.
Walker was chosen by the Raiders in second-round of the 2002 draft out of Cal. He spent five seasons with the team before leaving as a free agent to sign with Buffalo in 2007. After two seasons starting every game at right tackle for the Bills, he was slated to take over at left tackle after the departure of starting left tackle, Jason Peters. Walker apparently couldn’t win the job and was released prior to the season.
The Raiders brought him in a couple weeks ago to try out for the team but left unsigned. Now with the injuries to the Raiders offensive line piling up along with giving up six sacks to the Giants on Sunday (five of which were from the right edge), the Raiders expedited the signing.
Walker says he likely won’t play this week against the Eagles while he absorbs the new play book but he should be given a chance to take the starting right side job the following week against the New York Jets. His addition can only help an already beaten up and weak offensive line.
Oren O’Neal’s release was rather surprising in some regard. The sixth round pick out of Arkansas State started all of his rookie season in 07. He was injured all of 08 but came back to win the starting fullback job out of camp. But after the week three loss to the Broncos, he was inactive for the week four contest against the Texans. Cable explained the benching as being O’Neal “missing assignments”. Luke Lawton has been starting in his place. O’Neal has since injured his ankle which is probably what ushered in his release.
O’Neal can be claimed on waivers by another team but if he goes unclaimed, he would revert to the Raiders injured reserve list. I would guess the Raiders are hoping he flies under the radar and they will have him again next season.