The Las Vegas Raiders quickly came crashing back down to Earth with their lopsided 45-20 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to fall to 3-3 on the season.
Week 7 got off to a rough start after they were forced to send home their entire starting offensive line due to a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test from tackle Trent Brown. What was supposed to be an extra week of rest and preparation turned out to be one of the major challenges en route to an embarrassing loss to the Buccaneers.
The Raiders are now crossing their fingers for reinforcements in the form of guard Richie Incognito, as well as Brown. Incognito has been on injured reserve with an Achilles injury he suffered in Week 2.
Head coach Jon Gruden provided a positive update on Incognito but is still unsure of his and Brown’s status for Week 8 versus the Cleveland Browns, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic:
Richie Incognito (Achilles) just had his best two days of rehab but Gruden doesn't know if he is back for the Browns game.
Trent Brown is feeling better and Gruden "is keeping my fingers crossed" he can play when allowed back in the facility this week.
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) October 26, 2020
The prospect of Incognito making his return undoubtedly provides a major boost for this struggling offensive line. Unfortunately, Gruden’s comments indicate that his participation versus the Browns is still far-fetched at this point.
Despite having an extra week to prepare, the offensive line being unable to practice clearly came back to haunt them after giving up three sacks and failing to get any type of run game going against Tampa Bay with running back Josh Jacobs being held to a mere 17 yards on 10 carries and the team averaging 3.2 yards per carry.
Las Vegas has done some major shuffling up front in an attempt to shore up some consistency. It began with John Simpson taking Incognito’s place at left guard and he remained until Brown came back and Denzelle Good was tasked as the new replacement.
The knee injury for right tackle Sam Young and ejection of right guard Gabe Jackson certainly did not help the cause last week. Regardless, Gruden’s comments indicate that that the team is hoping that the return of Incognito and Brown can help serve as a stabilizing factor along the offensive line.