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Raiders Lack Backfield Depth Behind Helu
Monday, Feb. 29
Helu rushed for 1,132 yards with seven touchdowns and caught 129 passes and three touchdowns for Washington from 2011 to 2014 before coming over to Oakland.
He is expected to play a role as a third-down back for the Raiders, per Jeremy Warnemuende of 247Sports:
That was never really the case in 2015, as Helu was active for just nine games, averaged only 2.3 yards per carry and caught nine passes for 75 yards all year. But now we might finally have an answer for why Helu was nowhere near the player who hauled in 42 receptions for 477 yards and two touchdowns as a backup for Washington in 2014.
The injury-plagued season left Oakland without a viable second-string running back, and quarterback Derek Carr was the team's second-leading rusher behind starter Latavius Murray with 138 rushing yards.
Warnemuende said the Raiders are not yet ready to give up on Helu: "With no dead cap figure, Oakland could pretty easily part ways with Helu, but assuming he comes back strong from his two surgeries, he'll likely get one more chance to prove his worth with the Raiders."
If Helu does not bounce back as expected before the NFL draft April 28-30, Oakland could look to take a running back in one of the earlier rounds to replace the five-year veteran.