Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reese has been suspended four games by the NFL because he violated the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances, according to ESPN.
With the suspension, Marcel Reese will not be allowed to be play in the regular season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs, and he will be forced to miss the first three games next year.
Despite not really having a great year, Marcel Reese was voted to the Pro Bowl game. The Inglewood native will be forced to skip the free trip to Honolulu because of the suspension.
When asked about the suspension, Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio supported his player by stating that he wants to let Marcel Reese speak for himself and defend himself.
Jack Del Rio also feels that the NFL needs to sit down with one another and take a look at the league’s drug policy, as he feels that it could benefit greatly from an improved process.
The startling part about what Jack Del Rio said today, though, was the fact that he essentially downplayed the importance of Marcel Reese to the success of the Oakland Raiders now.
Jack Del Rio flat out stated that Marcel Reese was “not a major part of what we do.” The Oakland Raiders head coach stated that the team will get the next guy ready to step up.
Upon looking at statistics, Marcel Reese has only played in a quarter of the offensive snaps in 2015. The former Washington Huskies star only has only 305 total yards from scrimmage.
Since Marcel Reese is now 30-years-old, the Oakland Raiders have started to shift over to the 26-year-old Jamize Olawale, who earned his keep by being a special teams contributor.
While Marcel Reese might have another year left on his contract, there is a good chance that 250 pound running back could find himself seeking out a new home in the NFL next season.
Not only have the Oakland Raiders started giving more of his carries to Jamize Olawale, but the NFL in general has been using the fullback position less frequently over the years.
If he hits free agency next spring, then Marcel Reese and his agent are going to find that teams are looking more towards wide receivers, running backs and versatile tight ends.
It makes sense for the Oakland Raiders to open up the offense a bit more. They have more talent, including a quarterback, on that side of the ball than they have in well over a decade.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has given the fan base some hope after years of seeing their favorite team being close to the bottom of the rankings when it comes to offense.
Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper provide the Oakland Raiders with one of the best wide receiving duos in the NFL, and those weapons need to be utilized a whole lot more.
While it is true that the fullback position can be quite useful to the running game, NFL offenses have learned that spreading out the field with another wide receiver can help as well.
Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave spent a season under Chip Kelly, and he learned a lot from that wide open offense that the Philadelphia Eagles prefer to play.
By replacing the fullback position with a wide receiver or tight end, the Oakland Raiders could really open up running lanes for Latavius Murray, a 1,000 yard rusher this season.
Marcel Reese has been suspended by the NFL, and that doesn’t bother the Oakland Raiders too much.
[Featured Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]