Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oakland Raiders Reinstate McClain, Promote Chekwa, Release Bartell and Schmitt

On Monday the Oakland Raiders reinstated middle linebacker Rolando McClain to the active roster after he served a two game suspension. The team also promoted cornerback Chimdi Chekwa from the practice squad to the active roster. In order to make room for McClain and Chekwa, Oakland released cornerback Ron Bartell and fullback Owen Schmitt.

McClain was suspended two games for conduct detrimental to the team. It was reported that he and Raiders head coach Dennis Allen got into a heated exchange forcing Allen to toss McClain from practice. Allen never provided any details about the incident that led to the suspension.

Bartell was the starting cornerback for the Raiders to start the season, but suffered a shoulder injury in the season opener against the San Diego Chargers. He missed eight games with the broken scapula but returned in week 10 to start the last five games. However, he was benched for his struggles two weeks ago against the Browns and cornerback Phillip Adams has emerged with two solid games, making Bartell expendable.

Chekwa was a fourth round draft pick by Oakland in the 2011 NFL Draft. He played in four games, making one start as a rookie. He was released by Oakland right before the season, but was brought back onto the practice squad. With Bartell gone, Chekwa will move to the game day roster as cornerback depth and special teams play.

Fullback Owen Schmitt was released Monday as well. Schmitt was brought on to the team in May as a second fullback to Marcel Reece. He has appeared in 13 games making four starts when Reece became the lead back because of injuries to Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson. The Raiders signed fullback Jamize Olawale last week, which crowded the position with three members and spelled the end for Schmitt in Oakland.

Dan Benton

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