The Las Vegas Raiders have new complications for their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
No longer will it be in primetime on Sunday Night Football.
Instead, they will be moved up to 4:05 eastern time because of starting right tackle Trent Brown being put on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Since then, offensive lineman Rodney Hudson, Denzelle Good, Gabe Jackson, Kolton Miller and safety Jonathan Abram have all been put on the list due to risk of exposure.
This presents a number of issues this week for the Raiders if the game against the Bucs does go on as scheduled.
They’ll need a number of players to step up this week, which means that there should be a number of X-factors for the Raiders on Sunday.
X-Factor #1: The Raiders Second String Offensive Line
Considering the unknowns that the Raiders have on their offensive line at the moment, we’ll have to assume they’ll be relying on backups this Sunday.
Tackles Sam Young and Brandon Parker, guards John Simpson and Patrick Omameh, and center Andre James could be getting the biggest collective opportunity of their careers if they have to all step in against the Bucs.
Their play will likely dictate the flow of the game.
If they can hold up against Ndamukong Suh, Shaquil Barrett, Jason-Pierre Paul and the Bucs defensive front, the Raiders should be able to move the ball.
If they can’t, then it’s going to be a long day for Derek Carr and the Raiders offense.
X-Factor #2: Jeff Heath
With safety Jonathan Abram’s potential to miss on Sunday as well, Jeff Heath could be in line to make his first start for the Raiders this season.
Having been a longtime starter in Dallas before joining the Raiders, Heath has the requisite experience to step in.
Going up against Tampa Bay's deep passing attack that could include healthy versions of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin won’t be an easy task.
It’ll be key for the veteran to provide the needed help in coverage.
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