Jon Gruden Says Raiders Are on 'Cutting Edge of Beating' COVID-19

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2020

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden speaks 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

The 2020 NFL season is being played during the middle of a global pandemic, but the Las Vegas Raiders are apparently on the verge of conquering COVID-19.

Or so says head coach Jon Gruden.

"As an organization, we are on the cutting edge of beating the virus," he said, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic. "We're not the only team in the league, so you know, that's had people catch the virus."

The Raiders have been involved in a number of COVID-19-related headlines throughout the season, including in September when Gruden revealed he had had the virus while apologizing for not wearing his mask correctly during a game against the New Orleans Saints.

"I'm doing my best," he said, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. "I've had the virus. I'm doing my best. I'm very sensitive about it...I'm calling plays. I just wanna communicate in these situations and if I get fined I'll have to pay the fine but I'm very sensitive about that and I apologize."

Gutierrez reported Gruden was fined $100,000 for not wearing his mask the correct way during that game, while the organization was fined $250,000.

What's more, quarterbacks Derek Carr and Nathan Peterman; tight ends Jason Witten, Foster Moreau and Derek Carrier; wide receivers Zay Jones and Hunter Renfrow; cornerback Nevin Lawson; and center Erik Magnuson were among the players who attended a charity event in September when players were photographed without masks.

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More recently, all five starting offensive linemen and safety Johnathan Abram were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list prior to Sunday's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported the NFL and its players association are investigating the Raiders for COVID-19 issues, including whether the offensive linemen were spending time together without masks.

Tafur noted Gruden said he has not heard about potential penalties such as fines coming from the investigation.