The Las Vegas Raiders could be facing a linebacker shortage this week with Denzel Perryman, K.J. Wright, Cory Littleton, Will Compton and Patrick Onwuasor on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Currently, Divine Deablo and Marquel Lee are the only healthy linebackers on the active roster right now. If any number of the players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list couldn’t go on Sunday, it was likely that Javin White would get called up from the practice squad and play meaningful snaps.
However, that’s no longer an option. The New York Jets announced that they’ve signed White from the Raiders’ practice squad to their active roster.
Nobody can fault White for taking a permanent active roster spot, but the timing is very poor. If the worst scenario is realized and none of the previously mentioned linebackers are taken off the Reserve/COVID-19 list, the Raiders could really use a player like White who has been around the team for two seasons now. He came to the team as an undrafted free agent out of UNLV and they’ve liked what they’ve seen from him but not enough to give him a spot on the active roster. With the Raiders getting solid play from their linebackers this season, there was little opportunity for White to earn a long-term spot on the active roster. Las Vegas will be disappointed to see him go but this is a smart career move.
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Rule Change Will Make It Easier for Raiders LBs to Return
The Raiders received some good and bad news after the most recent slew of players heading to the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The NFL and NFLPA decided to change their guidelines to mirror the new CDC guidelines. Players who test positive for COVID-19 now only have to quarantine for five days as opposed to 10 days, including the unvaccinated.
That will end up helping the Indianapolis Colts more than the Raiders as everybody on the latter roster is fully vaccinated while the former’s roster has many unvaccinated players. The good news is that the Raiders have a better chance of getting Perryman, Littleton, Philon and Wright back. The bad news is that the Colts could get Carson Wentz and Darius Leonard back.
Can Raiders Still Beat Colts?
Last year, the Raiders got blown out 44-27 at home against the Colts. Indianapolis is arguably better this year and is the home team now. The Raiders need to win out to ensure a playoff berth but they’re going to have a difficult task on Sunday.
They’ve won their last two games against teams using backup quarterbacks. While a win is a win, the Colts will be much tougher than the Raiders’ last two opponents if they can get Wentz back in time. Las Vegas has played better on the road this season than at home so perhaps they can pull off the upset. This will easily be the most important game of the season so far and a loss would almost kill their playoff hopes.