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Raiders’ COVID-19 list is clear, but injuries are everywhere — Maliek Collins will go on injured reserve

The Raiders are free of COVID-19 for the moment, but that doesn’t mean they’re healthy.

Right tackle Trent Brown, slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner and practice squad running back Theo Reddick all came off the COVID-19 reserve list Wednesday, making it the first time in nearly a month the Raiders had no player who was unavailable because they either had the virus or were on the list for contact tracing purposes.

The injury report, however, was a lengthy one, and includes defensive tackle Maliek Collins going on injured reserve, according to coach Jon Gruden.

Ten players did not participate, eight due to injury, and all of them are either starters or have had extensive playing time: running back Josh Jacobs (ankle), safety Johnathan Abram (knee), wide receiver Nelson Agholor (ankle), cornerback Damon Arnette (concussion), Collins (hamstring/ankle), defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (ankle/calf), guard Denzelle Good (ankle) and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (ankle).

It remains to be seen which players will be available for the Raiders’ Week 13 game Sunday on the road against the winless New York Jets.

Center Rodney Hudson and right guard Gabe Jackson also did not participate, but it was their day off as part of their normal routine as veteran players.

Collins, an off-season signing at defensive tackle, won’t be available in the best case scenario until the final two games of the season. Collins has been listed with a shoulder injury and Wednesday’s list had him with hamstring and ankle issues.

Cited in training camp as a “key to the defense” Gruden and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther after signing a one-year contract, Collins has been a non-factor. In 10 starts and 432 snaps, Collins has had no more than three tackles in any game and has no sacks or tackles for losses.

Collins, who played in Dallas under Raiders current line coach Rod Marinelli, signed a one-year contract worth $6 million with an eye toward having a big year and getting a multi-year deal with the Raiders or elsewhere next season.

“I’m not going to get into the injury,” Gruden said. “I just know that he’s had some shoulder problems, he’s had a number of issues, and we’re going to shut him down for a few weeks, try get him right and hopefully have him at some point before the end of the season.”

If Collins were to miss the minimum three games, he would return to play against Miami in Week 16 and Denver in the regular-season finale.

Being without Collins would ideally give Hurst more time as the three-technique tackle, but the third year player was unable to practice. Hurst played 16 snaps against Atlanta after missing three previous days due to injury and a stint on the COVID-19 reserve list. Available interior linemen at the moment are Johnathan Hankins, Kendal Vickers and Daniel Ross with Ferrell also able to move inside. They also have Chris Smith on the practice squad.

“We’ll have to find some help from some place,” Gruden said. If you know somebody, call me.”

Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (73) returned to play against Atlanta but couldn’t practice Wednesday. Getty Images

Players who were limited at practice were fullback Alec Ingold (ribs), safety Erik Harris (calf)  and tackle Sam Young (knee).

The Raiders have had a player or players on the COVID-19 list since Nov. 5, the day Brown went on for the second time for complications resulting from his earlier bout with the virus. Over the next 28 days, 12 players would be on the list, with linebacker Cory Littleton, Ferrell and Joyner spending the most time and presumably testing positive, with eight others missing practice time for contact tracing.

Ferrell, who missed the Chiefs and Falcons games, was cleared to travel to Atlanta but didn’t play.

“It’s been a tough last two weeks. Finding out you’ve got the virus, I was worried about the potential people I could have infected like my teammates.


Ferrell said in a video conference. “Thankfully, I think it was me and (Joyner) were the only ones that really had it. That was tough. Also, I had to deal with the symptoms. So I was like, `Whew, this thing is really real.’ ”

Brown went through some individual work but didn’t participate in team sessions, and Gruden reiterated he didn’t expect the right tackle to play against the Jets. Brown has not played since Week 5 when he went the distance against Kansas City.

The virtual game plan

Wednesday was the first time the Raiders met as a group since flying home after Sunday’s 43-6 loss to the Atlanta Falcons as all NFL teams were barred from their facilities except in cases of injury rehabilitation because of the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

Raiders coaches put together the game plan they will utilize against the Jets from their own homes, which Gruden described in good humor.

“It was weird yesterday doing a game plan with your coaches from your house,” Gruden said. “Not all of us coaches are very technological. We’re not sound. Greg Olson has bad wi-fi. Another coach has a dog barking. Another guy’s wife is yelling at him. It was hard, but we’re trying to put together a game plan, but around the league I’m sure you’ll hear a lot of similar stories.”

Carr backs off `flat’ practices

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who said following the Atlanta he thought practices had been “flat” in the days leading up to the loss, amended his comments Wednesday. Sort of. On one hand, Carr said the preparation was fine, but he also reiterated the “juice” wasn’t there.

“I should probably say it better. I was a little angry,” Carr said. “We always prepare hard, we always prepare tough . . . I think we’ll bring more juice this time, this week in practice. I think us as players want to take more of a stand on that . . . we’ll take it upon ourselves to make things better. I probably could have said it a little better.”

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