It wasn’t all bad news for the Raiders as two key players returned to practice Wednesday as seven others were placed on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Left tackle Kolton Miller and defensive tackle Maurice Hurst were on the field as the Raiders (6-3) prepared to face the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) Sunday night at Allegiant Stadium.
“We’re still in the process of figuring it out, but they were out here today,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. “That was a good step in the right direction.”
Miller missed Raiders wins against the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos with an ankle injury sustained against Cleveland on Nov. 1. They were the first games Miller has missed in his career, having made 39 consecutive starts at that point and rarely missing a single snap.
Brandon Parker has started in Miller’s place in the last two games and played well. If Miller plays, Parker will either move to right tackle, where Sam Young has struggled to remain healthy and complete games, or be available as the backup in both spots. Parker, a third-year player out of North Carolina A&T, has emerged as a silver lining in Miller’s absence.
:“We’re weighing all the options,” Gruden said. “Brandon has gotten better. It’s his third year now in the system. That jump from a small school to the NFL is big. He started a lot of games as a rookie, but we’re weighing all the options and determining everyone’s health right now.”
Hurst injured an ankle in the same game and had to be helped from the field. He also missed the wins over the Chargers and Broncos. Hurst also missed the Raiders’ 40-32 win over Kansas City on Oct. 11 while on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Considering that defensive end/tackle Clelin Ferrell won’t face the Chiefs and that defensive tackles Maliek Collins and Johnathan Hankins won’t practice this week, Hurst’s availability would lend another body to an area that needs fortifying. Ferrell has tested positive for the coronavirus, while Collins and Hankins can’t be cleared until Sunday at the earliest while under quarantine for contract tracing.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes downplayed the Raiders’ `victory lap’ in Kansas City. AP Photo‘Victory lap’ forgotten
The wheels on the bus stopped going round and round as the Raiders and Chiefs got down to preparing for their rematch.
On Monday, Chiefs coach Andy Reid twice made mention of a Raiders’ “victory lap” around Arrowhead Stadium following their first meeting.
“Listen, they won the game, so they can do anything they want to do,” Reid said. “It’s not our style, but we’ll get ourselves back, ready to play. That’s where we’re at.”
Gruden bristled when asked if the Raiders had supplied bulletin board material and blamed a “smart aleck” bus driver.
“Maybe that’s why we drove around the stadium, to tick him off,” Gruden said. “This is ridiculous.”
The story gained some national attention, and Reid on Wednesday pretended he hadn’t heard anything about it.
“I didn’t think much about it and I haven’t thought much about it and I don’t …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports