SARASOTA, Fla. — Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch returned to the team Tuesday night.
And his teammates were happy to see him after he served a one-game suspension imposed by the NFL for making contact with an official during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 19.
Linebacker NaVorro Bowman said Lynch always brings good energy around the team.
“I’ve known him for a while,” Bowman said. “He’s a great guy. What you guys probably get from him, you might not think that, but he’s a great teammate. Funny guy, keeps everybody up. We know what he brings to the game of football. We look forward to having him back this week.”
Lynch should be able to bring a boost to a Raiders offense that has struggled at times through the first eight games of the season.
The Raiders rushed for just 54 yards on 14 carries in a 34-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills last Sunday without Lynch, but they have also struggled to get him involved when he is available to play.
Lynch has 266 yards on 72 carries this season and hasn’t gotten more than 13 carries in any game since the season opener against the Tennessee Titans. He had just two carries for 9 yards against the Chiefs.
Coach Jack Del Rio said that he would like to see the team play a more physical and aggressive game in the second half of the season. Quarterback Derek Carr said that Lynch can provide that on the field.
“He’s a physical player, we all know that,” Carr said. “At the quarterback position, it’s hard to play physical. When you get a guy like Marshawn who does that really well, I think we’re more apt to let him do those kinds of things.
“Whatever it is, whatever we have to do as a team, I think we’re all in. I think our guys are understanding that there’s no room for mistakes now. We have to go out and we have to perform. We to go and do it in a physical manner.”
COOPER READY FOR HOMECOMING
Wide receiver Amari Cooper played at Miami Northwestern High School where he caught passes from Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Cooper will be returning home this Sunday where he has had some of his favorite moments as a football player, including winning a national championship with Alabama when the Crimson Tide beat Notre Dame in the 2012 season.
“Yeah, it’s always been a dream to play in Miami, whether it was for Miami or against them, just to play in front of my hometown at the highest level,” Cooper said.
Cooper listed Ricky Williams, Chris Chambers and Hall of Fame defensive lineman Jason Taylor as some of his favorite Miami Dolphins to watch when he was growing up.
CARR KEEPS IT SAFE
With 2 seconds remaining in the first half, the Raiders had the ball at the Buffalo 47 and called a play that sent three receivers to the end zone for a desperation pass.
Carr instead checked down to an underneath pass to Jalen Richard that netted 15 yards as the half ended. He defended that decision Wednesday by saying he took the best play available.
“For me, I’m not even being funny, it’s simple math,” Carr said. “Cover 2 with three receivers where everyone is dropping deep. There’s four, five, six, seven (defenders) for three (receivers).
“At the end of the day, you roll out you can throw it up or take a better option underneath when we’ve seen guys be able to break tackles and things like that. Maybe keep it alive, those kinds of things.”