Raiders release Ponder, place Ross on IR

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) The Oakland Raiders released backup quarterback Christian Ponder and placed safety Brandian Ross on injured reserve as they cut their down roster down to the 53-player limit on Saturday.

Two of Oakland's draft picks this year also did not make the roster with defensive end Max Valles getting cut and tackle Anthony Morris being waived with an injured designation.

The other veterans released were defensive lineman C.J. Wilson, safety Taylor Mays and receiver Kris Durham.

Oakland also waived running backs George Atkinson III and Michael Dyer; offensive linemen Mitch Bell and Dan Kistler; linebackers Spencer Hadley and Josh Shirley; defensive linemen Shelby Harris, Ricky Lumpkin, Leon Orr and Gary Wilkins; tight end Brian Leonhardt; cornerback Tevin McDonald; receiver Devon Wylie and kicker Giorgio Tavecchio.

Two undrafted free agents made the roster with cornerback SaQwan Edwards and tight end Gabe Holmes earning spots for now. Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who was just signed within the past week, also made the team.

The roster is still fluid with the Raiders likely to look for some reinforcements on the waiver wire. As of now, Oakland kept only two quarterbacks but has two fullbacks, six receivers and four tight ends. On defense, the Raiders have three safeties and seven cornerbacks.

Despite giving Ponder $1.5 million in guaranteed money this offseason, the Raiders opted to keep Matt McGloin as the backup to Derek Carr based on a much more productive preseason. Oakland is going with just two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster in a change from past years but could potentially bring back recently released Cody Fajardo to the practice squad.

Another player who made the team with a strong preseason was receiver Seth Roberts, who had 15 catches for 243 yards and a touchdown. Roberts was an undrafted free agent out of Division II West Alabama who spent last season on the practice squad.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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