The Las Vegas Raiders had themselves an eventful week leading up to Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That included the team’s entire starting offensive line being sent home earlier in the week due to concerns over COVID-19.
At one point, the NFL was seriously considering pushing the game back. Instead, it decided to move the Week 7 matchup up in the day from “Sunday Night Football” to a day game in Las Vegas.
The backdrop here is the fact that the Raiders could very well face widespread penalties from the NFL for violating its COVID-19 protocols.
Las Vegas Raiders face fine, loss of draft pick for violating NFL’s COVID-19 protocols
As Fox Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer notes, the Raiders are facing a stiff fine and could also potentially lose a draft pick. This comes on the very same day that the NFL fined the Tennessee Titans a whopping $350,000 for violating the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.
Raiders and COVID-19
This is not the Raiders’ first dance when it comes to the pandemic. Earlier this season, head coach Jon Gruden was fined for not wearing a mask during a home game against the New Orleans Saints. Multiple members of the Raiders were then fined later in the season for violating both the NFL’s and city of Henderson’s COVID-19 protocols during a charity fundraiser.
All of this comes after renewed questions were raised about what the Raiders did during their bye week in Las Vegas. Starting right tackle Trent Brown and rookie first-round pick Damon Arnette both contracted the virus as the Raiders were idle during Week 6.
There was also a lack of contact tracing because Brown himself didn’t wear a tracker when he came into contact with someone who had COVID-19.
All of these protocols have been in place for some time now. The Raiders and the rest of the NFL know full well that further violations could lead to an outbreak and the season stopping on a dime.
If that means setting an example with the Raiders by docking them a draft pick, so be it. At the very least, that could be the NFL’s stance.