Here is where the NFL is now with COVID-19. This Sunday, the Raiders’ franchise quarterback very well could be counting on an entire offensive line made up of backups.
Because the Raiders’ starting five of Trent Brown, Kolton Miller, Denzelle Good, Rodney Hudson, and Gabe Jackson are all in quarantine due to contact tracing tied to Brown, the right tackle who tested positive for COVID-19.
The only other offensive linemen active on the Raiders’ 53-man roster are Brandon Parker, John Simpson, Andre James, Patrick Omameh, and Sam Young. You’ll note that that’s five names, which is how many positions they need to fill. So if there’s an injury … well. Yeah. Who’s got next, a defensive lineman? Jason Witten?!
Brown tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday, but the league is still unsure where he caught the virus because he “had not been consistently wearing his tracking device,” according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
The starting linemen were sent home Wednesday after returning negative COVID tests, but they are still in quarantine and will remain there until Sunday. They will then be administered another rapid COVID-19 test, where a decision will be made on their status for their 4:25 p.m. EST game vs. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers..
For Carr, I’m sure he would like to have a concrete understanding of what will happen, and who’ll be in the huddle with him, and you know, protecting his blindside. The last thing he needs is his entire starting offensive line being COVID-19 positive, and him being forced to play behind guys like Omameh, who hasn’t played a down this season, against the hostile environment of that is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. The Raiders $125 million man could legitimately get hurt.
Furthermore, who will be held responsible if this does end badly? All five of these linemen are over 6-feet and 315 pounds. It is a severe health concern for anyone that hefty to contract COVID-19. Playing at such sizes is an underlying health condition in and of itself, which would put them in a vulnerable category.
One-third of college athletes in the Big Ten who tested positive for COVID this summer have a heart inflammation — myocarditis — as a result of the virus.
A college defensive lineman from Pennsylvania died this summer from blood clots caused by COVID-19. He was 6-foot-3 and 355 pounds, and many on the Raiders’ O-line are around that same height and weight.
With the revelation that Brown wasn’t wearing his tracking device, there is a burning question of if he will face disciplinary action. He stopped wearing the device that all players are required to wear.
If two or three of these guys can’t go and Carr gets hit 30 or 40 times on Sunday, the Raiders are opening up their franchise quarterback, who is only 29, to his career ending prematurely. Again, here is where the NFL is now with COVID-19.