The Raiders just can’t shake their COVID-19 problems.
Las Vegas on Wednesday sent home all five of its offensive linemen after placing Trent Brown on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list. And clearly, head coach Jon Gruden is not pleased by the news.
“How happy am I? I’m not happy,” Gruden told reporters Wednesday during a video conference call, via ESPN. “I’m concerned. I’m really more concerned about Trent (and) his health than anything. This is COVID and I am concerned about anybody that has it or is near it.”
“… We’re listening to the league and they’re advising us on what to do,” Gruden said. “We used other linemen and adjusted practice. We’ll have five (offensive linemen) on Sunday. We’ll be ready to go.”
Vegas’ problems with COVID-19 date all the way back to Week 1 of the NFL’s 2020 season. The team has been called out (and punished) for numerous violations, even having a 2021 draft pick threatened should they continue to not comply with the NFL’s health and safety protocols.
Despite sporadically placing players on their reserve/COVID-19 list earlier than most squads, the Raiders still own a 3-2 record — good for second in the AFC West. But as Derek Carr noted, the team isn’t taking its recent success for granted, especially thanks to the pandemic.
“What’s crazy is … whoever’s out there, that’s who’s out there,” Vegas quarterback said. “Nobody cares about this or that. They just see the win-loss and that’s all that matters in this business. So with that said, we came in with the mindset today like, Oh, dang, you feel bad for those guys. You feel for them, you pray for them, make sure they’re OK, make sure their families are OK. But at the same time, we have a job to do while we’re here, so you have to compartmentalize a little bit. You have to separate the two. Once you step on the field, hey, we have to act like this is game day. We have to act like this is the group we’re rolling out with, so get ready to play.
“It ranks No. 1 in the weirdest things and y’all know we’ve seen a lot of weird things around here in my seven years. But this is definitely up there with some of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen.”
Believe it or not, the Raiders enter Week 7 just one loss behind the Kansas City Chiefs. But they certainly will have a challenge on their hands when they take on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Kick off, by the way, is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET.