One of the biggest storylines surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 7 was whether their offensive line was going to start or sit due to the COVID-19 tracing protocol. Now we have an answer, most of their starters will suit up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Â
The Raiders will be at pretty much full strength against the Bucs
The Raiders placed right tackle Trent Brown on the reserve/COVID-19 list after he tested positive for the virus. One direct consequence was that all the players that had direct contact with him were isolated. That group included tackle Kolton Miller, center Rodney Hudson, safety Johnathan Abram and guards Denzelle Good and Gabe Jackson. They needed to test negative for fight straight games to get the league’s clearance. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the NFL has cleared the four linemen. That means they will take the field against the ‘Bucs’.
All four #Raiders O-linemen who were deemed close contacts to Trent Brown are cleared for tomorrowâ€™s game.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 24, 2020
Brown will miss the game, but the Raiders will at least have three of their five starting offensive linemen. Although the unit definitely performs better when ’77’ is in it, Sam Young has filled for him adequately. Meanwhile, left guard Richie Incognito is still on the Injured Reserve, so it may be a while before we see the Silver and Black’s starting five together.
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Brown’s positive test affected other areas of the roster
Abram didn’t obtain the league’s clearance since he last had contact on Tuesday. If he tests negative tomorrow, he will be able to join the team again but not in time for the game. That means Jeff Heath will get the starting nod and play next to Erik Harris.
On the bright side, the Raiders activated David Irving, whom they recently signed, and cornerback Dylan Mabin from the practice squad. It’s not a sure thing the pair will play against the Buccaneers and they could end up on the inactive list. Nevertheless, we could see Irving’s season debut after not playing since 2018.
The Buccaneers will provide a tough test for the Raiders. That’s why it should be encouraging to know their most of their offensive line will suit up. They will to be at full strength or as close to it if they want to win their Week 7 matchup.
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Top Photo: Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports