Despite getting fined a number of times for COVID-19 violations this season, the Las Vegas Raiders haven’t had any big scares yet. However, that changed this week as starting right tackle Trent Brown tested positive for the virus and came into contact with the entire starting offensive line and starting safety Johnathan Abram. There’s still a lot up in the air for the team right now but the NFL is taking precautions.
The league announced on Thursday that the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been rescheduled. The game will now be played at 4:05 p.m. EST.
The move was mostly precautionary because the NFL needs a Sunday Night Football game and it’s still possible the matchup gets canceled. This was supposed to be the Raiders’ second primetime game at Allegiant Stadium this season but will now miss out on that viewership. It remains to be seen if the NFL will give them another primetime game later in the season. With the COVID-19 protocols being strictly enforced, anything can happen this season.
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Raiders Coach Reacts to News
The news of the reschedule dropped right in the middle of the Raiders’ Thursday press conferences and offensive coordinator Greg Olson was the first coach to address the news.
“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” Olson said. “Our preparation is the same, whether it’s a Sunday night game or a Sunday afternoon game. The only thing that changes sometimes if it’s a Sunday night game, we might get an extra walkthrough on Sunday morning but otherwise, our preparation throughout the week stays the same.”
In the grand scheme of things, moving a game up by just several hours shouldn’t be too big of a deal. The Raiders are at home so it won’t affect their travel schedule or anything.
Raiders OL Can Return on Saturday at the Earliest
While the rescheduling of the game doesn’t seem like that big of a deal for the Raiders on the field, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t possibly in big trouble. Their entire starting offensive line has been out of practice all week due to coming into contact with Trent Brown. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the offensive line couldn’t return until Saturday at the earliest.
That’s really not a good sign for the Raiders. The Buccaneers are one of the better teams in the NFL and being without any of their offensive line starters could be a big problem. There’s still so much that can happen between now and Sunday. We’ve already seen multiple games be rescheduled this season so it’s very possible the Raiders don’t even play on Sunday. This isn’t an ideal position for the team to be in but they’re going to have to do the best with the cards they’ve been dealt. The Raiders have battled back from adversity plenty of times in the past.