ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Looking for reinforcements at an extremely thin linebacker position, the Oakland Raiders looked to their recent past and signed Brandon Marshall on Tuesday.
Marshall, an offseason signing coming off a season-ending knee injury with the Denver Broncos, was perhaps the Raiders' most surprising cut at the end of training camp. He had been biding his time training while awaiting another call and opportunity.
"Man, I'm excited, excited to get to work and show them why they brought me in in the first place," Marshall told ESPN.
In camp, Marshall, who turned 30 on Sept. 10, was playing with the first-team defense in the Raiders' 4-3 alignment, along with Tahir Whitehead and Vontaze Burfict. But Burfict was hit with a season-ending suspension by the NFL for an accumulation of personal fouls, backup Marquel Lee is on injured reserve with an ankle issue and, should he be designated for return, could not play again until Nov. 24 at the earliest. Plus, undrafted rookie Justin Phillips suffered a knee injury in Sunday's loss at the Houston Texans and was waived to make room for Marshall.
"We're struggling at linebacker right now with Marquel Lee [hurt] and Vontaze's suspension," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said Monday. "We're going to probably be looking to shore up the linebacker position here in the next 48 hours.
"We're going to try to bring in another linebacker and train him. We have Dakota Allen, who didn't play yesterday, also on the team. We're thin. We have to add another linebacker, certainly. Hopefully Whitehead is ready to go. He came out of the game a little nicked up, too."