Coming off of their biggest win in years, things have gone from bad to worse for the Las Vegas Raiders due to Trent Brown testing positive for COVID-19. The team’s entire starting offensive line is on the COVID-19 list due to coming into contact with Brown. Fortunately, all of those players still have a chance to play on Sunday.
Starting safety Johnathan Abram is also among the players who came into contact with Brown but it appears he’s not going to be cleared on time because his interaction with Brown was more recent, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
With Abram being out, the Raiders’ defense could be in big trouble. He’s been one of their most important defenders this season. The team only has Erik Harris, Jeff Heath and Dallin Leavitt at safety right now. That’s not a group that inspires a lot of confidence, especially considering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have elite weapons all over their offense. Expect to see cornerback Isaiah Johnson gets a lot of play at safety this week.
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Brown Broke COVID-19 Protocols: Report
Jeopardizing the health and playing status of several important teammates is not a good look for Brown. Obviously, it’s possible it wasn’t on him that he contracted the virus but things aren’t looking good for him. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the NFL believes that Brown wasn’t consistently wearing his tracking device and they’ve found a video of the offensive linemen together without masks.
Now, the hanging out without masks thing shouldn’t be a big deal if they were solely hanging out with each other. However, the decision to not consistently wear a tracking device is a very bad look. Brown has already been a headache for the Raiders this season. He’s the team’s highest-paid player but has essentially only played one game due to injury. Per Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a member of the Raiders is very surprised by the news.
Could Raiders Be Facing Stiff Punishment?
A big problem facing the Raiders is that this is far from their first violation of the COVID-19 protocols. Head coach Jon Gruden has been fined for not consistently wearing his mask on the sideline and a number of players got in trouble for attending a fundraiser and taking their masks off at points. With this latest debacle, the NFL could drop the hammer on the Raiders.
There was already talk of the Raiders losing a draft pick because of their repeated violations. That hasn’t happened yet but this latest issue could put the NFL over the edge. The Tennessee Titans caused a game to get postponed but they didn’t face any discipline. There’s no doubt the Raiders and fans would be irate if the NFL targets them. Time will tell but with the team getting in trouble multiple times, the NFL could send a stern warning to the rest of the league.