It's starting to look like the NFL might end up dropping the hammer on the Las Vegas Raiders for the team's recent violation of the league's COVID-19 protocols.
According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the Raiders are going to get hit with biggest COVID-related fine of any team yet. That honor currently belongs to the Tennessee Titans, who were fined $350,000 by the NFL on Sunday. Although Glazer didn't give a specific fine number for the Raiders, he did say the team will be fined "very heavily" and that the number will definitely be more than $350,000.
The Raiders could also be the first team to face a punishment from the NFL that includes something besides a fine. According to Glazer, it's very possible that the league is going to dock the Raiders at least one draft pick for their recent violations. The NFL sent out a memo to teams in early October letting them know that they could be docked draft picks or even forced to forfeit a game if they knowingly violated the league's COVID protocols.
If you're wondering why the Raiders would be punished more than the Titans, it's because Vegas has violated the league protocols multiple times. The Raiders have already been fined more than $550,00 total for COVID violations with $350,000 of that coming in Week 2 when Jon Gruden was fined $100,000 for not properly wearing his mask (The team was also fined $250,000 for that incident).
The Raiders also had 10 players fined a total of $165,000 for not properly wearing their masks while at a public event. In late September, tight end Darren Waller held a charity event that nine of his teammates attended. After photos were released that showed the players not wearing their masks, Waller was fined $30,000 by the NFL while the other nine players were fined $15,000 each.
In the latest violation, the Raiders had to put their entire starting offensive line along with safety Jonathan Abram on the COVID list after tackle Trent Brown tested positive for COVID. Brown hadn't been wearing his NFL-mandated contact-tracing device, which could put him in hot water with the league.
Brown's positive test led to center Rodney Hudson, guards Gabe Jackson and Denzelle Good and left tackle Kolton Miller all going on the COVID list. However, all four of those guys will be on the field this week as they have since been cleared to play on Sunday against Tampa Bay. That being said, Abram won't be allowed to play and Brown still has to record one more negative test before the NFL will permit him to be on the active roster for the game.