The Las Vegas Raiders are hopeful of getting starting right tackle Trent Brown and speedy rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III back in time for a showdown against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Brown and Ruggs were listed as questionable for the game Sunday after making it through a week of practice. The two were both full participants in practice Friday.
Coach Jon Gruden said the final decision won’t be made on Brown and Ruggs until game day when he sees how they handled the flight and how they feel that day. He said the week off after this game won’t be a factor in the decision.
”We don’t have a lot of alternatives,” he said. ”We don’t have a lot of choices. We’re already using a lot of different players. We’re going to play guys that are healthy and ready to go. We’re not going to put anybody in harm’s way, but we’re playing the Kansas City Chiefs. So, if you’re able to play, we’re going to suit up the best men we can.”
Defensive tackle Maliek Collins was also listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. The Raiders are already without their top two reserves on the interior of the defensive line with Maurice Hurst placed on the COVID-19 list this week and Daniel Ross on injured reserve.
Receiver Bryan Edwards will miss a second straight game with injuries to his foot and ankle, and receiver Rico Gafford is questionable with a hamstring injury.
Brown was signed to a $66 million, four-year deal last year to be the anchor of the offensive line for the Raiders. But he has been hampered by injuries and has played more than 10 snaps in only half of the 20 games since joining the team.
He missed most of training camp with a calf injury but made it back in time to start the season opener at Carolina. But he hurt the calf again on the first play and left after three snaps and hasn’t played since, leading to some frustration online from fans that Brown responded to.
”I can tell you straight off the bat, I don’t live for anybody’s compliments and I’m not going to die by their criticisms,” Brown said. ”I’m a man first and foremost. I didn’t get this far by listening to all the naysay and doubters. I just come to work and do my job every day.”
Ruggs had an impressive first half of his debut with three catches for 55 yards and two carries for 11 yards as he helped stretch the defense with his speed. But he then caught only one pass for 4 yards over his next six quarters and then missed the past two games with injuries.
After scoring 34 points in each of the first two games, the Raiders have been held to 21.5 points per game the past two weeks without their best deep threat available.
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