The Raiders are one of six teams who will play a delayed Week 15 game due to the NFL’s surge in COVID-19 cases this week. And team owner Mark Davis doesn’t think that’s fair. Addressing the league’s postponement of Las Vegas’ Saturday night game against the Browns, which is now scheduled for Monday night, Davis acknowledged that safety is the NFL’s top priority but lamented the fact that the Raiders are now at a “competitive disadvantage” with their playoff lives all but on the line.
“Health and safety is always No. 1, but it’s tough,” Davis said, per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “Maybe Cleveland should travel here. That would make it more fair.”
The Browns, of course, are scheduled to host the Raiders’ Week 15 game. They also happen to be housing the NFL’s worst COVID outbreak outside of the Washington Football Team, with more than 20 different players — including starting quarterback Baker Mayfield — on COVID reserve after testing positive for the virus. Washington, which plays the Eagles; and the Rams, who play the Seahawks, had their respective Week 15 games postponed to Tuesday night.
The Raiders are especially disadvantaged, Davis argued, because they’d already been preparing to travel on a short week and now, despite being 100% vaccinated and without any of their own COVID cases, will be forced to play on a short week against the Broncos on Dec. 26. The NFL also did not intervene, Davis said, per Gutierrez, when the Raiders suffered their own COVID crisis in 2020, when Las Vegas’ entire offensive line landed on COVID reserve in the week leading up to the club’s Week 7 game against the Buccaneers.