The matchup between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday is one of the most anticipated football games of the season. However, it’s not going to come easily for the NFL. First, the Chiefs had to put two starting offensive linemen on the COVID-19 list and now the Raiders have put several key defensive players on the list, as well.
Included on the list was defensive back Johnathan Abram, who has been on the team’s most important defensive players this year. This is already his second time on the list but he hasn’t tested positive before. While he’s going to miss practice this week, it looks like he still has a good chance of playing. In a comment on an Instagram post, Abram made his plan very clear.
Abram’s Comment…🤫 pic.twitter.com/xrp5uz6m0G
— Nate Trinidad (@FTC_Nate) November 18, 2020
Abram hasn’t been perfect this year and can sometimes get over-aggressive but the Raiders need him. He brings so much energy and swagger to the defense. The Chiefs have the best passing attack in the NFL and having Abram on the field gives the team a better chance to at least get a couple of stops.
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No New Positive COVID-19 Tests
The number of Raiders players who have landed on the COVID-19 list is certainly cause for concern. This matchup against the Chiefs is massive for the team and they could be at a disadvantage. Luckily, things are looking okay as of now. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the team hasn’t received any new positive COVID-19 test results:
The Raiders had no new positive COVID-19 test results on Thursday morning, according to a person close to the situation, and remain on target to get several players on the COVID-19 list back in time for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Bonsignore also believes that all of the players on the list could possibly play on Sunday, including Clelin Ferrell. It’s still a longshot the defensive end gets to play but it looks like every other guy should be able to play.
How Much Does This Affect the Raiders?
Whether or not the Raiders lose players for Sunday’s game, this situation is going to have a negative effect on their chances of winning. Kansas City’s offense is already pretty unstoppable but Las Vegas was able to somewhat slow them down in the first matchup of the season.
Practice is going to be valuable this week and the fact that several key players won’t be out there is not great. That said, the Raiders aren’t completely out of this thing yet. The fact that Trayvon Mullen, Damon Arnette, Maxx Crosby and Nick Kwiatkoski aren’t on the COVID-19 list is promising. The only guy who has been a difference-maker on the list Abram. It certainly doesn’t help the Raiders that they’re dealing with these issues but they can still beat the Chiefs. Regardless of whether or not the team has these issues, it was going to be a difficult game to win.