Raiders Release Game 1 Starting Receiver Ryan Grant

Release of veteran who caught four passes in first two games, then was inactive vs. the Vikings, will give rookie Hunter Renfrow a chance to start in the slot

Ryan Grant caught 80 passes over the past two seasons in Washington and Indianapolis and missed just two games.

After two games with the Raiders, he’s out of a job.

Grant, who started in the Raiders Week 1 victory over the Broncos, was released Wednesday to make room on the roster for linebacker Justin Phillips, promoted from the practice squad.

The Raiders signed Grant as a free agent in April, and he caught three passes for 16 yards in Game 1 against Denver and had one catch for minus-2 yards in the loss to Kansas City in Week 2. He was on the inactive list last week for the Raiders’ loss to Minnesota.

Grant’s departure opens a starting spot for rookie Hunter Renfrow, who reportedly will take over the slot position Grant occupied, with Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson lined up outside. The other three receivers on the roster, going into Sunday’s game at Indianapolis, are Keelan Doss, Trevor Davis and Dwayne Harris.

As Vic Tafur of The Athletic noted, the move to release Grant is an odd one in that head coach Jon Gruden raved about him often. Grant played four seasons in Washington with Gruden’s brother, offensive coordinator Jay, and Jon Gruden believed Grant was a talented, dedicated receiver.

"I used to go up there (Washington) and sometimes all we talked about a lot of times was Ryan Grant," Gruden told Tafur this offseason. "I got my guy. I’m really excited about him."

Apparently, that excitement didn’t last. When the Raiders acquired wide receiver/kick returner Trevor Davis recently, the door may have closed on Grant’s time in Oakland.

Renfrow, who drew praise for his hands and route-running during training camp, now gets his opportunity.

Kickoff Sunday between the 1-2 Raiders and 2-1 Colts is set for 10 a.m.

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