Raiders activate 7 defensive players from COVID-19 list

JOSH DUBOW (AP Pro Football Writer)
·2 min read
Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Raiders activate 7 defensive players from COVID-19 list

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

The Las Vegas Raiders have activated seven players off the COVID-19 list after they missed practice this week as ''high risk'' close contacts to a teammate who had tested positive.

Safety Johnathan Abram, defensive tackle Maliek Collins, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, cornerback Isaiah Johnson, defensive end Arden Key and defensive tackle Kendal Vickers all were activated Saturday and are on target to play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Defensive end David Irving was also activated from the practice squad COVID-19 list and activated from the practice squad.

Those players still need to get negative tests back Sunday before they can be cleared to play.

''I don't know how we can beat these guys with a full lineup at practice, let alone three-quarters of your lineup not here all week,'' defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said Thursday. ''We're playing the world champs. What don't they have? They have a great quarterback, great receivers, great tight ends, the line is physical. And they're coming off a bye, so it's a daunting task. I know one thing, we're going to show up at 5:20 and we're going to give 100%, because that's what we do. We'll get these guys ready to play.''

These players were all placed on the list following defensive end Clelin Ferrell's positive test announced Tuesday. Defensive back Lamarcus Joyner also had been placed on the list Tuesday because of contact with Ferrell.

Ferrell, linebacker Cory Littleton and right tackle Trent Brown remain on the COVID-19 list after having tested positive. Las Vegas also place backup running back Theo Riddick on the COVID-19 list Saturday.

This is the second time this season the Raiders had to practice for most of the week without a significant number of players. Before last month's game against Tampa Bay, Brown tested positive and four other starting linemen, along with Abram, all were held out of practice because of ''high risk'' contacts. The linemen all returned for the game, while Abram had to miss the contest because his last contact with Brown came too close to the game.

The Raiders, their players and coach Jon Gruden have already been fined more than $1,215,000 and docked a sixth-round draft pick for violations of the COVID-19 protocols.

NOTES: The Raiders also activated DE Chris Smith and LB Javin White from the practice squad.

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