The Las Vegas Raiders’ Week 15 matchup against the Cleveland Browns has been rescheduled due to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Cleveland. As of Friday afternoon, the Browns had 11 of their 22 starters on the COVID-19 list. They also placed nine other players, head coach Kevin Stefanski, and other personnel on the list.
The game will now be played on Monday, Dec. 20 at 2:00 pm PST. You will be able to catch the matchup on NFL Network.
Having your game rescheduled as you prepare to board the plane sounds like a scene from a movie, like the rest of the Raiders’ season thus far, but that is exactly what happened. As the Raiders sat as a team waiting for their plane to arrive, they were informed their game had been pushed back two days.
Las Vegas players took to Twitter to express their frustration with the NFL and NFLPA. CB Casey Hayward Jr. and LB K.J. Wright were the first to make their displeasure known.
“I’m sure the NFLPA president playing for the Browns (center J.C. Tretter) didn’t have any effect on these negotiations,” Hayward said.
“If it was the other way around, I swear we would be playing tomorrow,” Wright tweeted.
It’s worth mentioning the Raiders did experience a COVID-19 outbreak during the 2020 season and their Sunday Night Football game was rescheduled to earlier that day, not pushed back.
Per Paul Gutierrez, Raider owner Mark Davis was also not pleased with the decision made by the league. “Health and safety is always No. 1, but it’s tough. Maybe Cleveland should travel here. That would make it more fair.”
The Raiders are now facing a short week in Week 16 due to the rescheduling.
The Raiders are 100% vaccinated and have had no positive tests since LS Trent Sieg recovered from COVID-19 early last week.
Injury Report Changes
Las Vegas had originally ruled out TE Darren Waller (knee), LB Denzel Perryman (ankle), and CB Trayvon Mullen Jr. (toe), but now that has a chance to change. The Raiders now have two more days to prepare for their game in Cleveland, leaving a small but very real chance that these players may be able to play. If the Raiders follow a similar schedule to a normal week, they will have to make that decision by Saturday.
Impact on Week 16
The Raiders will play the Denver Broncos in Week 16. A game that was supposed to allow for an extra day to prepare will now feature a Raiders team that lost two days of preparation.
The Raiders came out of Denver with a win in Week 6 and are looking to sweep the Broncos on the season. Both the Broncos and Raiders still have their playoff hopes alive as of Saturday, so this game has major playoff implications for both teams. The Raiders will do their best to game plan efficiently for a team that was not impacted by COVID-19 in the same way Las Vegas was.
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