Raiders add 7 to COVID list ahead of Chiefs game

  • Covered Oakland Raiders for and Sacramento Bee for eight years
  • Member of Pro Football Writers Association
  • Previously worked at Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal and Sports Illustrated

HENDERSON, Nev. — The Las Vegas Raiders placed seven more players on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday, bringing the number of players on their list to 11, four days before the Raiders are scheduled to host the Kansas City Chiefs.

Safety Johnathan Abram, defensive tackles Maliek Collins, Johnathan Hankins and Kendal Vickers, defensive end Arden Key, cornerback Isaiah Johnson and practice squad defensive end David Irving went on the list as high-risk close contacts a day after defensive end Clelin Ferrell and defensive back Lamarcus Joyner went on the list. Ferrell went on the list after a positive test.

Linebacker Cory Littleton and right tackle Trent Brown went on the COVID list on Nov. 12 and Nov. 5, respectively.

“We practiced today and we’ll be ready for the game on Sunday,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden told Kansas City media after an initial NFL Network report said “nearly the entire Raiders starting defense” was going on the list.

“It’s what you have to do. Everybody has to adapt to a lot of things in every phase of life. We had to go through some things before. We’ll be there on Sunday and we’ll be prepared. We’re excited to compete.”

As close contacts, the players could be eligible to return in time to face the Chiefs, who are coming off their bye week, on Sunday night, as long as they continue to test negative this week.

The Raiders faced a similar situation earlier this season when four starting offensive linemen went on the COVID list as close contacts to Brown, who had tested positive. Left tackle Kolton Miller, left guard Denzelle Good, center Rodney Hudson and right guard Gabe Jackson had to self-quarantine that week and were not cleared to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers until Sunday morning.

Also, that game was initially scheduled to be a prime-time telecast but was flexed out with so much uncertainty.

Meanwhile, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that Brown, who has been on the COVID list twice, “could be cleared as early as next week to resume working out.”

And across town, the UNLV football team had its game for this weekend at Colorado State called off due to four positive COVID-19 test results in the program.

The Raiders, as a team and individual players, have already been fined close to a combined $1.2 million and docked a sixth-round draft pick for breaking protocols.

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