With the bye week in the rearview mirror, the Las Vegas Raiders are headed into a very important matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For the first time in a while, the Raiders look like a legit playoff team. However, the schedule doesn’t get much easier right now.
The Buccaneers have one of the best defenses in the NFL and if anybody can knock the Raiders offense back down to earth, it’s them. Quarterback Derek Carr has been putting together a Pro Bowl-level season and he’ll be looking to continue that in Week 7. Carr revealed that he’s changing up his look this week by adding a visor to his helmet.
Carr is embracing the Star Wars aesthetic for Sunday Night Football at the “Death Star.”
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Could the Game Be Postponed?
Head coach Jon Gruden revealed on Wednesday that his entire starting offensive line wasn’t at practice because they came into contact with Trent Brown, who tested positive for COVID-19. Starting safety Johnathan Abram is also among the players who are staying home right now while the team figures out if they have the virus or not.
If the Raiders are without their entire starting offensive line and their starting safety, the league might need to consider postponing the game. The NFL has made it point to protect quarterbacks and having Carr go up against an elite defense with a bunch of backups protecting him is a recipe for disaster. However, the NFL is still working to determine whether or not the players are “high-risk close contacts.”
Coming off of a bye week, this is far from an ideal situation. The Raiders don’t have another bye week to take if the game needs to be postponed. There’s still a chance that all the players, even Brown, could play but there are a ton of variables up in the air right now.
Carr Addresses Issue
If the starting offensive line cannot play on Sunday, there’s not a player on the Raiders who would be affected more than Carr. He’s grown accustomed to playing out of a safe pocket. That would obviously change if he’s throwing behind a bunch of backups. However, he’s not making excuses.
“Whoever’s out there, that’s who’s out there,” Carr said Wednesday. “Nobody cares about this or that, they just see the win-loss and that’s all that matters in this business. With that said, we came in the mindset today like, ‘Oh dang.’ You feel bad for those guys. You feel for them and you pray for them and you make sure they’re OK and their families are OK and all those kinds of things, 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. 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. That’s just the mindset and the culture that we have here.”