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'You're only as good as your last play': How Jordan Meredith is seizing the moment when his number is called

Jordan Meredith stays ready so he doesn't have to get ready.

The offensive lineman stepped in at guard against the Minnesota Vikings when starting center Andre James went down and Dylan Parham slid over to center.

This wasn't the first time he was thrust into a situation like this. His first NFL game played came last season in Week 15, again filling in for injury. The UDFA from Western Kentucky had signed back with the team just six days prior.

He had spent the beginning of the 2022 season on the Raiders practice squad, was released in September, and after an extremely short stint with the Cleveland Browns, the Silver and Black brought him back and elevated him to the active roster to face the Patriots.

"That was a whirlwind. I had just got back with then Raiders going into that week," he said. "I was here to do anything they asked of me to do, and they threw me in. I told myself I was going to go 100 percent and see where it ends. It was a fun day and a fun game to be a part of."

His ability to step up in that moment didn't go unnoticed by the locker room. He was signed to a Reserve/Future contract at the conclusion of the season, and after hard work in the offseason, made the 53-man roster this year. Throughout the course of the season, he's found a niche on special teams – continuing to give 100 percent every day while keeping his NFL dreams alive. His versatility in the trenches has earned him the backup roles to Parham, James and Greg Van Roten, per the team's depth chart.

"You're only as good as your last play," Meredith said. "Without having film or playing or being on a team to show people what you can do, it's hard to stick around. I think everybody gets the jitters a little bit when they're about to go out. I do for sure. But after that first play, we get rolling and it's just football. It's what we play and been trained to do."

Coming in at guard against the Vikings gave Meredith another opportunity to showcase his abilities. However, his biggest moment to date would come just four days later on Thursday Night Football. James was ruled out due to an ankle injury sustained the game prior. It was a day-to-day situation as they monitored his status, which resulted in Meredith finding out he would make his first NFL start less than 24 hours before kickoff.

In primetime fashion, Meredith, who played every offensive snap, allowed no sacks while helping the Raiders offense produce seven touchdown drives.

"Great opportunity for somebody to go out there on a big-time showcase and he played well," interim offensive coordinator Bo Hardegree said. "He's physical, he's smart, he's tough. And he's shown that all through, even in the spring, in the fall, he just keeps progressing."

Meredith downplayed his individual performance and instead expressed his excitement for how the team played cohesively amid injuries to two starters in James and Kolton Miller. Any success Meredith did have against the Chargers was accredited the support and guidance of his offensive line room.

"These guys are great. Mentally they keep me calm, they understand the game, they've played it," he said. "Staying focused in the moment and on your job really helps a lot. Don't worry about what could or couldn't happen, just worry about what they're asking you to do and do it 100 percent."

The Raiders hosted a Youth Holiday Party for community members from local organizations at Allegiant Stadium to enjoy an evening of holiday fun.

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