Though the Las Vegas Raiders came up with a win in Week 1, they didn’t come out unscathed. A number of key players got banged up and two starters had to leave the game early. The scariest injury was when rookie first-round pick Henry Ruggs had to go to the locker room with a knee injury after an awkward fall. He says that he’s okay but he’s missed practice on Thursday and Friday which is certainly concerning.
Fortunately, it sounds like the Raiders are planning on him playing, according to Adam Caplan.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) September 18, 2020
Ruggs was explosive in his Raider debut and it’s clear he’s an important part of the offense. It sounds like he’ll be able to tough it out for the game against the New Orleans Saints.
Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski looked really good on defense before he had to leave the game early with a pectoral injury. There was fear he could miss a lot of time but it seems like there’s a chance he could still play Monday. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said on Friday that Kwiatkoski “looks really good right now.” With the high-powered New Orleans Saints offense headed to town, the Raiders will need all the help they can get.
Will Trent Brown Play?
Signs are looking good for Ruggs and Kwiatkoski but things are a little more unclear when it comes to Pro Bowl right tackle Trent Brown. All-Pro pass rusher Cameron Jordan is coming to town and the Raiders will want to make sure that Derek Carr stays as clean as possible. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday that Brown’s injury wasn’t too serious and he’d have a chance to play.
However, rumors have come out that the Raiders are starting to get frustrated with him. That could possibly mean that they don’t believe he’s showing the willingness to play through an injury that isn’t that serious. He also missed practice on Thursday and Friday. He’s the highest-paid player on the team and is a Pro Bowl level talent. If he can’t go on Monday, things could start to get ugly between Brown and the team.
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Michael Thomas Progressing for Saints
The Raiders aren’t the only team to get hit with injuries. The Saints could be without star wide receiver Michael Thomas on Monday. It was originally thought that he’d be out for at least a few weeks but Adam Schefter reported on Friday that there’s some optimism surrounding Thomas.
Despite his high ankle sprain, Saints WR Michael Thomas “felt fantastic” at practice Wednesday and there’s a “little glimmer of hope” he can play Monday night, per source. It’s still unlikely, but the Saints were pleased and surprised at Thomas’ progress and condition Wednesday.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 18, 2020
It would be a massive testament to his toughness if he was able to play with a high ankle sprain on Monday. That said, it’s hard to imagine he’d be very effective. He’s arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL when healthy but the Saints have plenty of weapons outside of him. Of course, they would love to have him on the field but they should be thinking about the rest of the season and not a Week 2 game that shouldn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things.