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Raiders release WR J.J. Nelson, sign Marcell Ateman

ALAMEDA — The Raiders released wide receiver J.J. Nelson Thursday and signed Marcell Ateman, who made a U-turn from the waiver wire back to the 53-man roster.

Nelson, signed in the off-season to provide a downfield receiving threat, missed the last two games with an ankle injury and coach Jon Gruden appeared to be growing frustrated with the inability of the wide receiver to be available for practices and games.

After a strong training camp and exhibition season, Nelson was played in Week 1 against Denver but was injured and then didn’t play again until Week 3 against Minnesota.In that game, Nelson caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Derek Carr on a flea flicker play in a 34-14 loss.

Nelson was a surprise inactive Week 4 against Indianapolis, with Trevor Davis stepping in to run 60 yards with a reverse for a touchdown on a play that was originally planned for Nelson.

Ateman, a rookie seventh-round pick from Oklahoma State last season, was activated for the Raiders’ game against the Chicago Bears because of injuries to Nelson, Tyrell Williams (foot) and Dwayne Harris (ankle). He played 28 snaps but did not have a pass thrown in his direction.

He was waived earlier this week and was expected to return to the practice squad until the Raiders determined they wouldn’t go on with Nelson.

Nelson was signed during the offseason to a one-year, $1 million contract with a $75,000 signing bonus.

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