Just when one of the secret weapons for the Las Vegas Raiders offense returned to action against the Kansas City Chiefs prior to the bye week, he’s off of the field yet again.
This time, it isn’t an injury.
Tackle Trent Brown, the highest-paid offensive lineman in the league, was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list yesterday. Brown tested positive for COVID-19.
“I’m concerned,” Coach Jon Gruden told reporters. “His (Brown) health more than anything. This is COVID and I am concerned about anybody that has it or is near it.”
Gruden previously admitted to reporters in September that he had COVID-19 before the start of the season.
In addition to Brown being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and sent home, four other starting offensive linemen, Kolton Miller, Gabe Jackson, Rodney Hudson and Denzelle Good, who had close contact with Brown, were also sent home.
Safety Johnathan Abram was sent home from practice as well.
It is part of the contract-tracing protocol to figure out who else has COVID-19.
“Well we’re listening to the league and they’re advising us on what to do. Trent Brown is not here today,” Gruden said. “His status is unknown. We had to send five of our starting lineman home today because they had a tracer. Hopefully, we’ll get some players back tomorrow or for Sunday.”
Effectively, Brown is ruled out of Sunday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. League policy states that if he is asymptomatic, he won’t be able to return to the facility for five days and after two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests 24 hours apart.
If Brown does show symptoms, he’s out for 10 days and must test negative 72 hours after he last showed symptoms to return to facilities.
The other possibility, depending on how many offensive linemen test positive and/or show symptoms, is for the league to push back the game a day or two so some of the offensive line can return to practice.
At this moment, the Raiders are without the offensive line. The game I believe is a must-win for the Buccaneers, and one way or another, Gruden and Co. will be ready to play on Sunday.
“We used other linemen, obviously, and we adjusted practice,” Gruden said. “We still got a lot of work done, but you gotta have linemen to play. We’ll have five on Sunday. We’ll be ready to go.”
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