Shouldn’t the NFL give the Raiders more time?
Earlier this week, the Raiders faced a run-in with COVID-19, forcing the team to enter the league’s COVID protocol. Initially, Las Vegas placed Trent Brown on the reserve/COVID-19 list, but then also sent home all five starting lineman due to contract with the right tackle.
In football, you need an offensive line, and if you’re Derek Carr, you really need an offensive line.
The game was originally set for primetime on Sunday Night Football but since has been flexed to a 4:05 p.m. EST kickoff. However, it could be moved once again to a 1:05 p.m. start time according to Raiders coach Jon Gruden.
Simple question and answer here: Why not just postpone the game for a later date?
Do bye weeks factor into the problem?
Partially, the NFL could feel as if playing the game Sunday is the only way to guarantee it from starting. Unlike the Patriots, Titans or Steelers, all of whom rescheduled their games on weeks that would have been a bye, Las Vegas won’t have that luxury. The team recently took their bye the week prior to Brown’s initial contact.
This would force the NFL to mix around the schedules even more. Tampa won’t have a bye week until Week 13, a weekend where the Raiders are forced to take on the New York Jets to no one’s enjoyment. The Jets, meanwhile, will have their bye in Week 10 when both teams take on divisional opponents in Denver and Carolina, respectively.
There’s also the recent positive news coming back from testing. On Friday, the league reported there was no new positive test. And if the four offensive linemen test negative after their quarantine, all should be activated to start.
Las Vegas has played four games this season without Brown, mean that while his case shouldn’t be taken lightly, their record stands with a key component. All that adds up to a headache for the league and problems they would rather sweep under the rug than try to catch it.
“We’re going to play Sunday at 1 o’clock they tell me, and we’ll be ready to go,” Gruden said Friday to reporters.
The Raiders will host Tampa Bay tomorrow no matter the testing outcome. The NFL has made it clear the game will happen, so Gruden best hopes his team will be near full-strength with another negative test.