ALAMEDA -- The start to Keelan Doss' NFL career has been unique, to say the least.
After going undrafted out of the University of California-Davis, Doss was signed by the Raiders and impressed early on in OTAs and training camp. The Alameda native became a fan favorite during the Raiders' run on HBO's "Hard Knocks," but eventually he was cut and signed on the Jaguars' practice squad.
Doss' time away from the Raiders didn't last long, as he was given a $300K signing bonus along with the $495K salary to take Antonio Brown's spot on the roster after the star receiver demanded his release before Week 1.
The rookie wideout was active from Weeks 2-7, totaling six catches for 79 yards as the receiver-starved Raiders tried to reshape their offense on the fly. Doss showed some promise in games against the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, but he has been inactive for the past four games, with newcomer Zay Jones and Marcell Ateman getting the nod to suit up.
No player likes to sit on the sideline as his team battles for a playoff spot, but the rookie is taking everything in stride, focusing on getting better to earn his way onto the field.
"I've just been in practice really just focusing on my game," Doss told NBC Sports Bay Area."The tools I know I can use when I do get in a position to play. Obviously it's tough just watching the team and everything, but at the end of the day I have to get better every day and that's what I continue to try to do."
"Just consistency, just every day," Doss continued. "I know my ability and what I can do. When I get an opportunity to go in I just have to continue to make plays like I have been and was when I was in the game."
Not being able to contribute on Sundays has been tough, and his NFL journey has had more early twists and turns than most undrafted rookies.
Still, Doss is happy to be a Raider and is taking each new curve with a positive attitude.
"I couldn't make it up, you know what I mean?" Doss said about his first NFL season. "It's obviously unorthodox, but at the same time, I feel like God puts me in a position and I can handle it. I've enjoyed it. You've got to live in the moment, so that's what I try to do."
After three straight wins, the 6-4 Raiders will travel to New York on Sunday to face the Jets as they look to cement their foothold in the AFC playoff race.
Doss will continue to hone his craft and be ready to make plays for the Silver and Black should they need him down the stretch.