Gaskin lone local to survive NFL cuts

The RB from Lynnwood makes Miami’s initial 53-man roster, but three others from the area did not (updated).

Myles Gaskin is flying the flag for Snohomish County for the start of the NFL season.

The NFL’s deadline for cutting rosters down from 90 players to 53 came Saturday at 1 p.m. Pacific time, and Gaskin was the only Snohomish County native to make the final cut for his respective team.

Gaskin, a Lynnwood native who attended O’Dea High School in Seattle, was one of six running backs retained by the Miami Dolphins.

Three other Snohomish County natives, Mariner High School graduate KeiVarae Russell, Mountlake Terrace High School graduate Devante Downs and Cascade High School graduate Randin Crecelius, did not make their respective 53-man rosters. Russell was waived by the Cincinnati Bengals, Downs was waived by the Minnesota Vikings, and Crecelius was placed on injured reserve by the Baltimore Ravens.

The NFL season opens Thursday when the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers.

Gaskin, The Herald’s 2018-19 Man of the Year in Sports, was a seventh-round pick in this year’s NFL draft following a record-breaking career at the University of Washington. He was Miami’s second-leading rusher during the preseason, gaining 98 yards on 26 carries and scoring a touchdown, while also catching five passes for 36 yards and another TD. He played well in the Dolphins’ preseason finale, a 16-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, which likely helped his cause.

Russell, a cornerback, appeared in 20 games for the Bengals the previous three seasons, including one start and one interception. However, he missed all of the Bengals’ preseason games because of an unspecified injury, and although he returned to practice last week it wasn’t enough to convince Cincinnati to keep him.

Downs, a second-year linebacker who appeared in 11 games for the Vikings last season, was Minnesota’s top statistical player on defense during the preseason, racking up a team-high 17 tackles while adding a sack and an interception.

Crecelius, an offensive lineman who spent last season on Baltimore’s practice squad, missed the entire preseason because of what was reported to be a concussion. Being placed on injured reserve prior to the season beginning means Crecelius is ineligible to play for the Ravens this season.

Russell and Downs are now subject to waivers and can be claimed by any team before 9 a.m. Sunday. That also means that Gaskin isn’t guaranteed to be on Miami’s roster for the opener, should the Dolphins claim a player who they prefer over Gaskin.

Once the waiver period ends, teams can begin populating their 10-man practice squads. Downs is eligible for a practice squad, while Russell is not.

—- UPDATE, 8:36 a.m. Monday

Devante Downs is getting another chance. The Mountlake Terrace High School graduate, who was waived by the Minnesota Vikings during Saturday’s cutdown, cleared waivers without being claimed and was signed to the Vikings’ practice squad, meaning the second-year linebacker will be remaining in Minnesota for the time being.

Meanwhile, Lynnwood native Myles Gaskin survived waiver claims. The running back, who was selected in the seventh round of this year’s NFL draft, was a bubble player who made the Miami Dolphins’ initial 53-man roster. The Dolphins then had five waiver claims accepted, meaning Miami had to cut five more players, but Gaskin was not one of the five who made way as the Dolphins continued to carry six running backs.

As of Monday morning there had been no action regarding Mariner High School graduate KeiVarae Russell, who was waived by the Cincinnati Bengals. Russell, a cornerback in his fourth season, is ineligible for practice squads.

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