Heading into each preseason game, there’s always a question of how much certain players will actually play in the game. This is especially true for the Las Vegas Raiders going into preseason Game 1 against the Seattle Seahawks because the Raiders will be counting on so many young starters this season.
Luckily, head coach Jon Gruden spoke with the media on Thursday and shined some light on the matter, giving fans a better idea of what to expect on Saturday.
Probably the biggest headline coming out of Las Vegas’ training camp yesterday was backup quarterback Marcus Mariota’s from practice. Gruden said the Mariota has a sore leg and that he injured it while scoring a touchdown in practice at the stadium the other day. The seven-year veteran is looking to build his resume this preseason, but this might throw a small wrench in his plans as Gruden called Mariota’s status for the game “questionable.”
The coach also spoke about how the offensive line rotation might look given how youthful the Raiders are upfront.
“Well, we’ve had a lot of reps. Reps are not the problem...We want to see our right tackle play a little bit. We want to see our new center play a little bit. We’ve got some young players that are competing for jobs that need to play a lot, so we are going to look at them. A couple of veteran guys won’t play, but you’ll see our first-round draft choice and you’ll see our young center.”
In other words, Alex Leatherwood and Andre James will probably be the only starters who see any action.
Karl Joesph has missed time recently with an injury and when Gruden was asked about it, he didn’t have an update except to say that Joseph is “getting better” and should be back in a week. That puts the Silver and Black down one safety heading into the game this weekend.
Gruden would go on to say fans might not get to see a lot of the big-name players play, but he is excited to celebrate with the Raider Nation in Las Vegas for the first time.
In Other Raiders’ links:
- Nassib “dialed-in” this season: the defensive end apparently appeared “disinterested” at times last year but has been locked-in so far in 2021.
- Raiders No. 25 in B/R Power Rankings: the site released its preseason Week One power rankings and put Las Vegas in the bottom quarter of the league.
- Ethan Westbrooks signs: Las Vegas brings in another defensive lineman for his second stint with the team.
- Gruden explains day off: the coach declared: “I’m not an idiot” when asked about the day off and tracking players' hydration levels. He said the team had been working hard and the guys could use some time to recharge.