ALAMEDA — The Raiders added some needed help for their banged-up secondary Tuesday when they signed free-agent cornerback Demetrius McCray.
McCray fills the roster spot created after defensive tackle Darius Latham was suspended Monday for four games for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse.
The Raiders have been hampered by injuries at cornerback with David Amerson missing last week’s game with a concussion and shoulder injury, rookie Gareon Conley playing just two games so far because of shin injuries and Antonio Hamilton leaving last week’s game against Baltimore with a knee injury.
McCray, who had been released by Seattle on roster cut-down day Sept. 3, had come out for a tryout with Oakland last week and was brought back to sign a contract this week.
McCray had been drafted out of Appalachian State by Jacksonville in the seventh round in 2013 and played 46 games for the Jaguars over three years. He started 16 games overall, including 12 in 2014. He has no interceptions and six passes defensed in his career.
“That was a learning experience,” he said. “It wasn’t in the win column, but it was a learning experience. I got the chance to experience a lot of things.”
The Raiders (2-3) are seeking improved play from their secondary. Oakland has no interceptions and has just four takeaways all season, including two on special teams.
The Raiders have been especially vulnerable on the deep pass, allowing a league-worst 130.2 passer rating on balls thrown more than 20 yards downfield.
Sean Smith was beaten by Mike Wallace for two deep balls that went for more than 50 yards in last week’s loss to Baltimore.
“Our potential is through the roof,” Amerson said. “We have all the tools we need. It’s about combining all the things together with coverage and rush. Both go hand in hand. The main thing is just getting healthy and being available.”
The Raiders also signed linebacker Deontae Skinner to the practice squad and terminated the practice squad contract of linebacker Boseko Lokombo.