Understandably there are more than a few furious people today. Some are furious at the Browns, Rams, and Washington for their rash of positive COVID-19 cases. Some are furious with the NFL and NFLPA for what they see as going back on their words that they would not be re-scheduling those three games to Monday and Tuesday.
That goes for the fans, players, coaches, and otherwise. It’s a huge inconvenience if nothing else. Raiders owner Mark Davis says it puts the Raiders at a competitive disadvantage as he told ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.
There is a lot here to unpack, so let’s do that.
Davis has a point about the short week situation. The Raiders were already preparing for a short week because the league had scheduled their game for Saturday. That doesn’t change, really. Now they just have to wait a few days to actually play that game.
What this means is the Raiders have essentially two short weeks in a row with the second off of a cross-country trip. Which, yeah, that’s a little annoying. Though it may not be *that* big of a deal. Each short week is just one day. Not like teams that play on Thursday which is shortening the week by three days.
Davis’s suggestion to move the game to Vegas is interesting. That would be a pretty good remedy, although likely not possible on short notice.
Where Davis gets way off track is bringing up the week leading up to the Tampa game last season. There is simply no comparison here.
First of all, we’re talking about the difference between a few of the Raiders offensive linemen vs over 20 Browns players with more testing positive seemingly by the hour. Just today — literally as the Raiders were about to get on their flight for Cleveland — Browns DE Jadeveon Clowney tested positive for COVID as well. These are all positive tests, mind you. Not close contacts.
Last season, in the week leading up the Bucs game, the Raiders had one player test positive (Trent Brown) and five other players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list as close contacts, causing them to miss the week’s practices. The other four were the other Raiders starting offensive linemen. In the end, of those close contacts, only safety Johnathan Abram would miss the game.
Also, yeah, the league moved the game up…a few hours. From Sunday Night to Sunday afternoon. Let’s not like the game was moved up days or something. They merely flexed it out of primetime.
So, yeah, it sucks that the Raiders are having their game moved and probably a few thousand fans will have their game attending and watching plans disrupted or even ruined for something the Raiders had nothing to do with.
No question that’s terrible. And everyone has a right to be pretty angry about that. Mark Davis included. But other than the outside chance the Browns get back some of their players by Monday and the Raiders having a couple game weeks shortened by a day, the competitive disadvantage part is relatively minor.