The Las Vegas Raiders’ latest batch of COVID-19 tests all came back negative and their game scheduled for Sunday against Tampa Bay is on for now.
The Raiders placed two players on the COVID-19 list following positive tests earlier in the week and put five more players on the list because of “high risk” close contacts.
A person familiar with the tests said on condition of anonymity that all the players tested negative in results gotten back Friday morning. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league doesn’t release test results.
“We’re going to play Sunday they tell me,” coach Jon Gruden said. “We’ll be ready to go.”
The NFL moved the Raiders game against the Buccaneers from prime time to an afternoon slot on Sunday just in case the game couldn’t be played. The plan is still to play the game Sunday unless the situation changes, even though the Raiders won’t have any starting offensive linemen at practice this week.
The problems arose this week when starting right tackle Trent Brown tested positive for the coronavirus and was placed on the COVID-19 list on Wednesday. The team sent home four other starting offensive linemen, Kolton Miller, Denzelle Good, Rodney Hudson, and Gabe Jackson, as well as safety Johnathan Abram, because of possible close contact with Brown.
Those contacts were later deemed “high risk” and those players were placed on the COVID-19 list on Thursday. If those players remain asymptomatic they must wait five days from their last contact with Brown and test negative each day before they will be allowed to return.
The four linemen had their last close contact on Monday and could be cleared to play Sunday. Abram’s last close contact was Tuesday and can’t clear the protocol before the time of the scheduled game.
Ravens to have 5,000 fans at next home game
The Baltimore Ravens will have a crowd of around 5,000 fans at their next home game, Nov. 1, against Pittsburgh.
This will be the first time that ticket-holders will be allowed in the stadium this season. Because of the pandemic, the Ravens had no fans at their home opener and were permitted only 250 immediate family members of players, coaches and front-office personnel at the next two home games.
The increase in fans comes after the team received approval from Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, and Baltimore’s mayor, Bernard C. “Jack” Young, to fill M&T Bank Stadium up to 10 percent capacity, according to a news release Friday.
Baltimore has a bye this weekend. The Pittsburgh game was originally scheduled for this Sunday, but was moved back after the Steelers and Titans moved their Oct. 4 game to Sunday.
Bengals RB Joe Mixon out
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is out with a foot injury and won’t play Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
Mixon injured his right foot in the first half of last week’s game with the Indianapolis Colts but later returned. He didn’t practice this week and was ruled out Friday. The Bengals didn’t disclose the specific nature of the injury.
Giovani Bernard likely will get the start at running back with Mixon unavailable.
Mixon has 428 yards and three touchdowns this season and averages 3.6 yards per carry. He also has 138 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Washington QB Dwayne Haskins fined for COVID violation
Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins was fined for violating one of the team’s coronavirus protocols, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
A team spokesman offered no comment when asked about the fine.
ESPN, which first reported the violation, said the second-year player was fined $4,833 for making a reservation for a family friend at the team’s hotel ahead of its game against the New York Giants.
The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to a revised set of covid-19 protocols that went into effect last Saturday. Included in the 78-page document are strict rules on travel for visiting teams, which are prohibited from making separate lodging arrangements while traveling and are prohibited from visiting anyone outside of their travel parties.
Per ESPN’s report, Haskins did not have any contact with the friend for whom he made the hotel reservation.
Browns TE Austin Hooper sidelined
The Browns will be without dependable tight end Austin Hooper for Sunday’s game after he underwent an appendectomy. Coach Kevin Stefanski said Hooper, who signed a four-year, $42 million contract with Cleveland as a free agent this year, was having the operation Friday. Stefanski said it’s expected to be a standard procedure and the 25-year-old Hooper will not miss significant time … The Jacksonville Jaguars will be without three defensive starters against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, more injury woes for a unit that has allowed at least 30 points in five consecutive losses. Coach Doug Marrone ruled out linebacker Myles Jack (ankle) and safety Jarrod Wilson (hamstring) and defensive tackle Abry Jones (ankle) was placed on injured reserve, meaning he will miss at least the next three games … Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones has a calf injury that makes his status uncertain for his team’s game Sunday at Houston. The injury kept Jones from practicing Friday. He had practiced all week up to that point … Matt Blair, one of the great linebackers in Minnesota Vikings history and a six-time Pro Bowler who played in two Super Bowls, died. He was 70. Blair, who had been suffering from dementia, died Thursday after an extended period in hospice care, according to the Star Tribune.