The Las Vegas Raiders had to send all of their starting offensive linemen home Wednesday after Pro Bowl right tackle Trent Brown was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said he made the call as a precautionary measure, considering the five starters had previous contact with Brown.
Gruden also stated he hopes some of the starters will be cleared to practice Thursday so they will be on track to play this weekend:
“Hopefully we’ll get some players back tomorrow for Sunday,” Gruden said, via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.
It would obviously be a nightmare for the Raiders to be without multiple starting offensive lineman, especially considering their opponent on Sunday night.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense stopped Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in their tracks this past weekend, sacking Rodgers four times for 42 yards and allowing just over 250 yards of total offense.
Tampa Bay boasts one of the best front sevens in football. A stacked line featuring Shaquil Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh ruthlessly pursue the quarterback, while linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David hunt ball-carriers in the backfield.
The Raiders will struggle to generate much offense against this Bucs defense without their lead hogs up front.
Las Vegas has gotten off to a 3-2 start, with an offense that ranks sixth in both scoring and total yards. Quarterback Derek Carr has been brilliant, completing 73 percent of his passes and throwing for 1,442 yards and 11 touchdowns against just one interception.
But Carr could be up against it if the Raiders do not get their starters back in time for a Sunday night showdown with the Bucs. Las Vegas is hoping this is just a momentary setback before the squad can get back to normal and get ready for Tampa Bay.