Jon Gruden Reportedly 'Livid' Raiders' Game vs. Bucs Wasn't Postponed

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IOctober 25, 2020

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden checks play cards on the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is "livid" the team's Sunday game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasn't postponed after his starting offensive line missed most of the week due to COVID-19 contact tracing protocols, according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio

All five of the Raiders' starting offensive linemen were forced to isolate at home due to potential exposure after right tackle Trent Brown tested positive for the virus. Kolton Miller, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson and Denzelle Good were activated ahead of Sunday's game, according to ESPN's Field Yates.  

The players were able to practice Monday but weren't cleared to return until Saturday. A league spokesman explained Sunday that the game would play as scheduled since the Raiders were able to keep their facility open (h/t Pro Football Talk):

"As we’ve said since before the beginning of the season, we always try to play games as close to their scheduled time, date and location while keeping the health and safety of players and personnel as the foremost priority. There have been no additional positive tests among the Raiders who were able to keep their facility open and practice as a team. Roster flexibility is also in place with an increased number of practice squad players availability (16) and the ability to move them to [the] active [roster] as necessary. The Raiders close contacts are eligible to play today. Teams and players understand that strict adherence to the protocols is necessary to avoid outbreaks and disruptions of their schedule and season."

But Gruden believes the loss of an entire position group in practice should be enough to result in a game change. 

"Gruden believes the game should have been bumped to Monday or Tuesday night, giving him more time to get his linemen ready," Florio wrote, while also noting that the Buccaneers would not be inconvenienced by the change because they play next Monday night.

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Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported Sunday that the Raiders "will be fined very heavily" and face harsher punishment than the Tennessee Titans, who were assessed a $350,000 fine for "instances of failure to comply with requirements on wearing masks and insufficient clear communication" that resulted in 24 positive COVID-19 cases throughout the organization. 

The Raiders are considered repeat offenders after 10 players were fined for participating in an indoor charity event without masks, while Gruden was fined $100,000 and the team was hit with a $250,000 penalty for failure to follow mask requirements in September.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network said the NFL and NFLPA are investigating the Raiders' positive cases and believe that Brown failed to wear his tracking device and that the offensive line gathered without masks.