This Sunday in Allegiant Stadium will be 322 days in the making for running back Devontae Booker.
That's how long it will have been since the last day he played in a Denver Broncos uniform. In his last game with the team that drafted him in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft, he caught two passes for 17 yards and was given zero carries.
Ironically, Booker was going up against the Raiders in the organization's last game as the Oakland Raiders before moving to Las Vegas this season.
Booker decided to go to his former team's AFC West rival, and his resurgence with the Raiders has been delightful.
The former Utah Ute has been enjoying his most successful season since his rookie season as Josh Jacobs change-of-pace backup. He's accounted for nearly 300 total yards of offense this season, and he's coming off his best performance of the season — 68 yards on eight carries and a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Booker acknowledged that there is a bit of excitement for him facing his former team Sunday in Allegiant Stadium, expressing he felt that he "didn't really get the carries I thought I should've had in Denver." After seeing 174 carries his rookie season with the Broncos, he got 115 carries over the span of his last three seasons in Denver, including just two in the 2019 season.
"It was very frustrating in a way, but I can only control what I can control," said Booker. "I just keep going out there and working, just doing what I need to do. That's what I believe in, just go out there and just put it on film out there each day and go work and do what I need to do."
"For me it's just another game and I just got to go out and execute and come out with a win." Devontae Booker
Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson commended the work that GM Mike Mayock was able to put in towards scouting Booker and getting him into a Raiders uniform this past offseason. Olson is convinced that Booker has come to the Raiders with no baggage or animosity for Denver and just wants to bring his all to the running back room everyday.
"I don't know anything about Devontae and his time in Denver," said Coach Olson. "What we do know is he's been an exemplary player for us. He's been great in the meeting room; he's been great on the practice field; he's been a great teammate to both offensive and defensive players. We like the player, we like the skill set that he brings. I know he's excited about going back and playing Denver, getting a chance to play his own team. But again, we're just happy with the guy that we got."
Booker feels he's now a more established, polished runner in his fifth season in the NFL and will treat Sunday's game against his former as another day at work for him.
"Of course everybody, when they play their ex-team, they want revenge and all this extra stuff, but just for me, it's just another game and I just got to go out and execute and come out with a win."
The Silver and Black hit the practice field at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center as they prep for their Week 10 matchup against the Denver Broncos.