The Oakland Raiders added a familiar face as they resigned Gary Russell to fill the third running back slot after the injury to Darren McFadden. This answers the question of who was going to fill the roster spot created when Justin Miller was given his walking papers after a week on the squad.
Russell was originally signed by the Raiders immediately prior to minicamp. He stayed with the team throughout the offseason before being released as part of the final cut downs. Russell had not been picked up by another team despite having a strong showing during the preseason.
In the preseason, Russell carried the ball 28 times for 154 yards and three touchdowns. His release was the result of the depth the Raiders had at that position, not from a lack of production. With the practice squad not an option as it was with Louis Rankin, he was let go. Rankin’s addition to the Seattle Seahawks practice squad made Russell a logical choice for the Raiders.
His role will be the third back behind Justin Fargas and Michael Bush, which means he likely won’t see much action unless there is an injury. But he is a good insurance policy on a short notice.