We need to give credit where credit is due. The Las Vegas Raiders have been resilient in 2020 and have a 3-2 record in spite of dealing with injuries. This week won’t be different when they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Raiders have been without key players at different points of the year
Injuries are an inherent part of football but teams need to adapt. Although the ‘next-man-up’ mentality may be a cliché, it really separates good squads from great ones and this year, the Raiders have dealt with their fair share of injuries. In the season opener, they lost Nick Kwiatkoski to a pectoral injury. The following week against the New Orleans Saints, wide receiver Henry Ruggs III pulled a hamstring.
The Raiders surely benefited from Kwiatkoski’s and Ruggs’ return to the lineup. Nevertheless, they needed to adjust to their absence and took the field without them. The same is true for guard Richie Incognito, who also went down with an Achilles injury against the Saints and is currently on the Injured Reserve List. Although he’s one of the best guards in the NFL and his presence greatly improves the Silver and Black’s offensive line, Denzelle Good has filled for Incognito to the best of his capacities.
There won’t be any surprises on Sunday
Against the Buccaneers, things won’t be much different. The Raiders have already ruled out rookie wide receiver Bryan Edwards and cornerback Keisean Nixon. Although the South Carolina standout displayed playmaking prowess against the Saints and the New England Patriots, Nelson Agholor has helped lessen his absence. Meanwhile, Nixon has dressed up for all five games this season but hasn’t done much of note.
Defensive end Carl Nassib is listed as questionable with a broken toe and so is defensive tackle Maliek Collins. Nassib hasn’t had much of an impact in 2020 so his absence won’t likely affect the team much. The same is true for Collins, who has accounted for three total tackles and one quarterback hit.
Let’s keep an eye on the Silver and Black’s starting offensive line
On the other hand, we must keep track of the Raiders players who joined the reserve/COVID-19 list this week. Tackle Trent Brown won’t play against the Buccaneers because he tested positive for the virus on Monday. Meanwhile, tackle Kolton Miller, center Rodney Hudson, safety Johnathan Abram and guards Gabe Jackson and Denzelle Good are isolated due to contact-tracing protocols.
They need to test negative and show no symptoms for five straight days since the last day they had contact with Brown. Abram’s last day of contact with the Raiders’ right tackle was on Tuesday so he will also be out against the Buccaneers. Meanwhile, Miller, Hudson, Jackson, and Good all tested negative on Friday and are on track to play.
The ‘Bucs’ are coming from a statement win against the Green Bay Packers and will present a tough matchup for the Raiders. Head coach Jon Gruden says they will ready no matter what, but the Silver and Black will have better odds of winning if they have their starting offensive line available.
You May Also Like: Raiders Must Account For These 3 Rising Buccaneers Defensive Players
Top Photo: Isaac Brekken/Associated Press