Derek Carr always knew this would be a different training camp from his previous six seasons in the NFL.
The Raiders were moving camp from their Napa, California, to their new facility in Henderson, Nevada, especially as everything in Napa was located so close together. He just had no idea how different camp was going to end up.
Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic while in camp has changed everything about it, starting early in the morning.
“Nothing is normal about this,” Carr told reporters on Tuesday. “You come in the morning and before you come into the door, you have to do a COVID test and, like, it’s nuts because everyone in the building has to do it. So, you may get here at 5:15 a.m. but you have to wait 20 minutes before you get your test. It’s just different, man.
“Everyone’s having to do it and everyone’s got to grind through it, and someone is going to come out on top because they dominated it. So, we come in, everyone is wearing masks. In our lunchroom there are spacers so no one can spit on each other. There’s clear spacers on all the lockers. When we go in the weight room and you get done using something, you got to wipe it off, disinfect it, hand sanitizer. To say the least, it’s strange.”
The process is working, however. The Raiders have had three players put on the reserve/COVID-19 list during training camp – defensive end Maxx Crosby and running backs Devontae Booker and Rod Smith – and all three have been activated. The numbers around the NFL are excellent as well.
There are now just 10 NFL players on the Reserve/COVID list league-wide. Only one player placed on the list in the last seven days remains on the list: Bengals WR John Ross, who is home with his family.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 18, 2020
Carr vows the Raiders will continue to be diligent in the fight against the pandemic
“We are going to do everything we can to make sure, like we have taken a family approach,” Carr said. “We are trying to take care of each other and take care of each other’s families. If someone has it, someone’s in the building, we are, at least, taking every precaution, every step, every measure to where when you come in here, you at least know your brothers are going to take care of you.”
Carr, a class guy, said his thoughts extend beyond football during this unthinkable time.
“People with small businesses being shut down, especially in California everything is shutting down,” Carr said. “People can’t do anything and really my heart is for them right now. I’m being honest. If there is anything that we can get out of this I hope that those people, those small business owners are alright, people with those middle-class jobs can get back to work and things. So, that’s where my heart is at.”