It has been trending this way since Sunday, and today Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden delivered the bad news that four defensive starters will miss Thursday night’s home game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Defensive end Clelin Ferrell (shoulder), safety Johnathan Abram (concussion/knee), cornerback Damon Arnette (concussion) and linebacker Nicholas Morrow (concussion) will all miss the game.
The struggle of short week is real — especially in 2020.
Arnette missed Sunday’s home loss to the Indianapolis Colts while Ferrell, Abram and Morrow all got hurt in the Colts’ game. All four players didn’t practice during this short week.
“It’s next man up,” Gruden said on Wednesday. “We have to get some guys to step up.”
Gruden said backup defensive lineman Carl Nassib will be active against the Chargers. The big money, free-agent pickup this year has been a healthy scratch the past two games.
Fellow big ticket free agent linebacker Cory Littleton will get Morrow’s snaps. Littleton lost much of his playing time to Morrow after coming off the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list a few weeks ago.
Nevin Lawson will likely continue to play for Arnette if he can play. He missed practice Wednesday with an illness. Newly-signed Daryl Worley will also play some cornerback. Perhaps the versatile Worley will play some safety as well. The Raiders signed Worley last week and he will make his 2020 debut with the team on Thursday night. Worley played for the Raiders in 2018-19 and started 15 games last season. Gruden said he will play, but didn’t say how much.
Newly claimed pass rusher Takk McKinley will likely make his Las Vegas debut in Week 16 against the Miami Dolphins, Gruden added.