Maiava could get start in Raiders’ opener
Oakland Raiders linebacker Sio Moore has been listed as questionable for Sunday’s regular-season opener, and coach Dennis Allen said Friday that Baldwin High School graduate Kaluka Maiava “absolutely” would start against the Indianapolis Colts if Moore is sidelined.
“When we brought these guys in, I’m talking about Kevin Burnett, I’m talking about Nick Roach, I’m talking about Kaluka, and then we were able to draft Sio, we felt like we had four linebackers and those four were capable of being starters for us,” Allen was quoted as saying on the Raiders’ website. “It’s the way of the NFL, and specifically if you’re a backup player, you’ve got to be ready to play multiple positions. The more you can do, the more you can help this football team win. I don’t see that really being an issue.”
Moore, a rookie who was twice named to the Big East first team while at Connecticut, has a foot injury.
Maiava is in his first season with the Raiders after spending the first four years of his NFL career with the Cleveland Browns. He played in only one game in the preseason, recording three tackles in Oakland’s exhibition finale against the Seattle Seahawks, after suffering an injury to his left ankle on July 28.
In 50 games with the Browns, Maiava had 133 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks and five forced fumbles. Last season, he set a career high with 53 tackles to go with two sacks and a pair of forced fumbles.
“I think he’s an instinctive football player,” Allen was quoted as saying. “He’s got some pass-coverage skills. He’s good against the run. I think this guy is a real instinctive football player. We haven’t had
a chance to work with him a lot, but you can tell by watching him that he understands how to play the game. I think him being in there and being a veteran player, that’s a plus.”