Raiders send starting O-line home after Brown’s COVID test

Sports

FILE – In this Sept. 9, 2019, file photo, Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown (77) protects a gap in the offensive line during an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, in Oakland, Calif. The Las Vegas Raiders sent all five starting offensive linemen home as part of coronavirus contact tracing after right tackle Trent Brown was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list with a positive test. The Raiders held practice on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020 without their starting five as they prepare for Sunday’s home game against Tampa Bay. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit, File)

The Las Vegas Raiders sent all five starting offensive linemen home as part of coronavirus contact tracing after right tackle Trent Brown was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list with a positive test.

The Raiders held practice on Wednesday without their starting five as they prepare for Sunday’s home game against Tampa Bay. Safety Johnathan Abram also was held out because of contract tracing.

“I guess they were around Trent,” coach Jon Gruden said. “I can’t get into things any more than that. Hopefully we’ll get some players back tomorrow or for Sunday.”

Gruden says the team is listening to the league about how to handle the situation.

The Raiders had the week off last week and returned to practice on Monday. Brown took part in that practice but has since tested positive.

“I’m concerned,” Gruden said about being without his linemen. “I’m really more concerned about Trent’s health than anything. This is COVID. I’m concerned about anybody who has it or is near it.”

Gruden had the coronavirus in July before the start of training camp.

The Raiders current starting offensive is left tackle Kolton Miller, left guard Denzelle Good, center Rodney Hudson, right guard Gabe Jackson and Brown. The other linemen on the active roster are Patrick Omameh, John Simpson, Andre James, Brandon Parker and Sam Young.

Guard Richie Incognito is on injured reserve with an Achilles injury and the Raiders also have Jaryd Jones-Smith, Erik Magnuson and Kamaal Seymour on the practice squad.

“What’s crazy is, whoever’s out there, that’s who’s out there. Nobody cares about this or that. They just see the win-loss and that’s all that matters in this business,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “So with that said, we came in with the mindset today like, oh dang, you feel bad for those guys. You feel for them, you pray for them, make sure they’re OK, make sure their families are OK, all those kinds of things.

“But at the same time, we have job to do while we’re here, so you have to compartmentalize a little bit. You have to separate the two once you step on the field. We have to act like this is game day. We have to act like this is the group we’re rolling out with, so get ready to play.”

Brown is the second Raiders player put on the COVID list this week after cornerback Damon Arnette went on it on Monday. Arnette was already on injured reserve with a broken thumb.

The list is used for players who either test positive for the coronavirus or have been in close contact with an infected person.

Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst was put on the COVID list two weeks ago before being activated on Monday.

Brown is supposed to be a key part of Las Vegas’ line after signing a $66 million, four-year contract before the 2019 season. He has played only sparingly this season after injuring his calf on the opening series in Week 1 at Carolina.

He missed the next three games before returning on Oct. 11 for a 40-32 win over Kansas City.

NOTES: DT Maliek Collins (shoulder) and DE Carl Nassib (toe) returned to practice on a limited basis. … WR Bryan Edwards (foot, ankle) and CB Keisean Nixon (groin) didn’t practice. … WR Marcell Ateman was added back to the practice squad from IR and WR De’Mornay Pierson-El was released from the practice squad.

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