Marshawn Lynch sat again. That will get attention.
What he did while on his feet Saturday night was of more interest to the Raiders.
As expected, the veteran running back took a seat on the sideline bench during the national anthem. How Lynch looked in his first exhibition action was more prudent, and the Oakland native didn’t disappoint in albeit brief action of a 24-21 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
This was Lynch’s first game in a Raiders uniform at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Many fans rose to their feet and applauded him when he first stepped onto the field. In the seconds that followed, little suspense surrounded the offense’s first play from scrimmage.
It was going to Lynch.
Indeed, the 31-year-old took a handoff to the left side, following a large vacancy cleared by guard Kelechi Osemele and tackle Marshall Newhouse for a 6-yard gain. He added a 4-yard gain later. And that was it.
Lynch jogged into the locker room after the Raiders concluded their first drive with a Derek Carr touchdown pass to tight end Lee Smith. He returned minutes later without his shoulder pads and watched the rest of the game while wearing a silver and black beanie.
On Aug. 12, Lynch made national headlines with his anthem stance before an exhibition game against the Cardinals.
On Saturday, Lynch was old news. But there appeared to be more solidarity on the sideline, as Carr had his right hand on defensive end Khalil Mack’s jersey throughout the entirety of the anthem. A Raiders coach also did the same with fullback Jamize Olawale.
Sean Smith was not with teammates Thursday when training camp ended. The Raiders cornerback missed practice after being arrested in Pasadena, California, as he faces felony charges for assault and battery in an alleged July 4 incident involving his sister’s boyfriend.
He posted an $80,000 bail Thursday and was released at 7:15 p.m.
Less than 48 hours later, he was back to football.
A jury has not convicted Smith, 30, of a crime. The NFL has not suspended him. And so, he was free to rejoin his teammates. Smith is the first Raiders player to be arrested since running back Kory Sheets in 2014.
Smith started as the outside corner opposite David Amerson. TJ Carrie worked as the team’s nickel corner. Smith finished with two tackles.
The Raiders seemed fortunate with injuries Saturday, at least until the fourth quarter. Defensive end Jimmy Bean, an undrafted rookie signing in 2016, limped off the field with an undisclosed injury.
Wide receiver Seth Roberts did not face the Rams because of illness, a source said. Cornerback Gareon Conley, defensive lineman Jihad Ward, tight end Cooper Helfet, linebacker Ben Heeney, guard-tackle Denver Kirkland and safety Keith McGill also weren’t in uniform.