Former Wolf Pack player James Butler signs with Raiders

James Butler
James Butler has signed with the Oakland Raiders.

Former Nevada running back James Butler is back on an NFL roster.

The 5-foot-9, 210-pound Butler, who played for the Wolf Pack from 2014-16, was signed to the Oakland Raiders' practice squad Tuesday.

Butler originally signed with the Raiders in July as an undrafted free agent but was cut prior to the start of the regular season and not re-signed to the practice squad. The move gives the Raiders depth at running back after Marshawn Lynch was placed on injured reserve Monday with a groin injury.

Butler spent three seasons at Nevada, rushing for at least 1,300 yards in back-to-back seasons in 2015 and 2016. He compiled 3,316 rushing yards on 608 carries (5.5 yards per carry) and scored 30 touchdowns (27 rushing, three receiving) in silver and blue.

The Chicago native transferred to Iowa for his senior season, where he served as a backup to Akrum Wadley, who spent training camp with the Tennessee Titans. Butler rushed 91 times for 396 yards and one touchdown in nine games with Iowa last season.

In the NFL preseason, Butler rushed 14 times for 26 yards with the Raiders. Oakland is down to just three running backs on its active 53-man roster, including Doug Martin, Jalen Richard and DeAndré Washington. Butler is the only running back on the Raiders' practice squad. The team has two backs on the IR, including Lynch and Chris Warren III.

In corresponding moves, the Raiders signed free-agent K Daniel Carlson and elevated WR Marcell Ateman and G/T Denver Kirkland to the active roster. The team waived K Matt McCrane and have waived S Obi Melifonwu.

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