NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport caused a stir Wednesday afternoon when he reported nearly “the entire (Las Vegas) Raiders starting defense” would be heading to the reserve/COVID-19 list because of “high-risk close contacts.”
This is wild: Nearly the entire #Raiders starting defense is going on the COVID-19 list because of high-risk close contacts, but all are eligible to play in the game if they continue to test negatively, sources tell me and @TomPelissero.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 18, 2020
The Raiders play the Kansas City Chiefs on this week’s edition of Sunday Night Football. It is likely this is happening because tracers connected many players to defensive end Clelin Ferrell, who reportedly tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
Rapoport added that some Raiders will be cleared by Saturday and others by Sunday, as long as they continue to test negatively. Here are the six Raiders who were added to the list (starters italicized):
- Defensive back Jonathan Abram
- Defensive tackle Maliek Collins
- Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins
- Defensive back Isaiah Johnson
- Defensive end Arden Key
- Defensive tackle Kendal Vickers
Practice squad defensive end David Irving was also placed on the list.
Rapoport noting that these contacts being characterized as “high-risk” is key. “High-risk” close contacts need to be isolated from the team for five days, with the clock beginning the day after his exposure to the positive subject.
“Everybody has to adapt to a lot of things in every phase of life,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said, via ESPN’s Adam Teicher. “We had to go through some things before. We’ll be there on Sunday and we’ll be prepared. We’re excited to compete.’’
Raiders right tackle Trent Brown and linebacker Cory Littleton were already placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list last week. Until the players on the list are cleared, they cannot practice. So regardless of availability, the Raiders will enter Sunday night’s game with a significant disadvantage.