A week and a half ago, Trevor Davis was a member of the Green Bay Packers, but after a trade brought him back to the Bay Area — where he’s originally from — the speedy receiver was listed as inactive in his first game as a Raider, but in Week 4, the former Cal Bear had one of the biggest plays of his career.
Although, ironically, the play wasn’t originally designed for him.
All week during practice, Davis and J.J. Nelson switched off taking reps running the jet sweep. As two of the fastest receivers on the squad, Head Coach Jon Gruden knew he could take advantage of the Indianapolis Colts defense using Nelson in open space, but come gameday, No. 15 was unable to take the field.
“It was for J.J. Nelson honestly and J.J. was a scratch. He showed up here today and couldn’t go,” Coach Gruden said pointedly. "Very disappointed in that, but the kid came in there and not only scored the touchdown today, but he made some plays for us that didn't show up on the stat sheet.”
It’s an overused cliché, but against the Colts Sunday it rung true, “next man up.”
Trevor Davis stepped in for Nelson and made the most of his opportunity, taking his first touch as a Raider 60 yards for a house call. Davis weaved through defenders before reaching open space, and scoring the second touchdown of his career, but he credits his blockers for making it possible.
“That was great downfield blocking,” he said postgame, “I saw there was one safety left, so I didn’t want him to tackle me with all those blockers. They’re great blockers, too. Our tight ends are great blockers, really our whole team is. I knew after I saw that it was most likely a touchdown.”
In the absence of Nelson, Davis rose to the occasion and proved to the coaching staff he's capable of making big plays with his speed. Usually limited to his role as a special teams returner, Davis shared with reporters that his goal has always been to strive for more and become a versatile asset on any team.
“It always has been, it really comes down to opportunity in this league, and at the end of the day if you’re given that opportunity you have to take advantage of it,” he explained. “So, even if it’s backing up any receivers, if it’s starting it doesn’t matter what my role is. I’m going to just help the team win, at the end of the day that’s all I really care about. So, whatever they put me in is what I’m going to do.”
Less than two weeks into his tenure as a Raider, it’s hard to guess what Davis’ role will be going forward. During Coach Gruden’s postgame presser he joked that he literally just met Davis not too long ago.
Davis didn't register a catch Sunday, but he finished the day with two carries for 74 yards and one touchdown — not bad for a guy who was a member of a different team two weeks ago.
The Raiders will face a defense next week that’s quick to snuff out big plays, but we’ll see if Gruden can get creative and find more ways to get the young speedster involved. Either way, Davis should be happy that the team got a win and made a major contribution to make it happen.