The Las Vegas Raiders have placed starting offensive tackle Trent Brown on the reserve/COVID list, head coach Jon Gruden confirmed to reporters on Wednesday. Not only that, but the team sent all five of its starting offensive lineman home because they were in close contact with Brown. Gruden relayed that the team had to alter Wednesday's practice due to the lack of linemen, but is hopeful some will be able to return in the near future.
"Well, we're listening to the league and they're advising us on what to do," said Gruden. "Trent Brown is not here today and his status is unknown. We had to send five of our starting linemen home today because they had a tracer. I guess, they were around Trent. I can't get into anything more than that. Hopefully, we'll get some players back tomorrow or for Sunday."
This is the latest setback for Brown, who signed a $66 million contract with Las Vegas in 2019, as he's only appeared in two games this year after suffering a calf injury in the opener. He returned from that injury in Week 5 and played in 100% of the offensive snaps in the Raiders' upset win over the Chiefs, but now he's potentially faced with missing more time coming out of the Week 6 bye.
"We don't have Trent today. We don't have any of our linemen today, so how happy am I? I'm not happy," said Gruden. "I'm concerned. I'm really more concerned about Trent [with] his health more than anything. I mean, this is COVID and I am concerned with anybody who has it or is near it."
It should be pointed out that being placed on the reserve/COVID list does not necessarily mean that Brown has tested positive for the virus. Under the protocols that the league has put in place, someone can also be placed on the list if they were exposed to someone who has COVID-19 as a precautionary measure to limit any potential outbreaks.
On Thursday, the NFL sent out a press release announcing that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Las Vegas Raiders matchup would be moved from Sunday night to Sunday afternoon at 4:05 p.m. ET, while the Seattle Seahawks-Arizona Cardinals matchup would be moved from Sunday afternoon to "Sunday Night Football." According to the NFL's press release, these decisions were made out of an abundance of caution to ensure that a game would be available for fans on Sunday night.