September 14th, 2021 at 4:03pm CST by Sam Robinson
The Raiders came out of their nationally televised opener 1-0 but are down at least one key player for the season. Denzelle Good suffered a torn ACL, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter).
Good spent most of last season as a starting guard for the Raiders, and the team used the veteran blocker as a starter Monday. Good was set to start opposite Richie Incognito, having won Las Vegas’ right guard gig. Incognito missed Monday’s game due to injury, thrusting second-year guard John Simpson into the starting lineup opposite Good. It would appear Simpson will stick in that role.
Good, 30, went down on the Raiders’ first drive. They moved recent addition Jermaine Eluemunor into the lineup opposite Simpson. The Raiders re-signed Good this offseason, giving him a two-year commitment at $4.18MM on average.
A former Colts draftee, Good hovered as a depth option between the 2016 and ’20 seasons. After spending the ’16 season as a primary Indianapolis starter, Good served as a backup in Indy and Oakland. However, the Raiders kept blocker around since claiming him off waivers late in the 2018 season. They were forced to use him as a regular following Incognito’s September 2020 injury. They will now hope Incognito can return from his latest injury soon.
Jon Gruden expressed concern Good, Yannick Ngakoue, Marcus Mariota and Gerald McCoy suffered serious injuries. It is not known if that is the case for the latter trio, though Good’s prognosis provides an ominous sign here. McCoy was carted off the field Monday night.
The Raiders are tracking to have two starters from their 2020 Week 1 offensive line setup back, with Kolton Miller signed long-term and Richie Incognito back on a lower-cost deal. But spillover from another training camp battle may affect Incognito’s standing. Denzelle Good and John Simpson will vie for the starting right guard spot, but Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed of The Athletic note Raiders coaches have informed the team’s guards the loser of this competition may still wind up replacing Incognito at left guard (subscription required). Incognito, 38, played well in 2019 but missed 14 games due to an Achilles injury last season. The Raiders cut him in March but re-signed him weeks later on a one-year, $2.12MM deal. Good replaced Incognito last year, and the Raiders are hoping Simpson — a 2020 fourth-round pick out of Clemson — can win the right guard competition.
Here is more on the Raiders’ O-line and the latest from some other offensive fronts around the league:
Elsewhere on Las Vegas’ O-line, the center spot may not be much of a competition. Despite offseason addition Nick Martin having started four full seasons with the Texans, the former second-round pick appears to be clearly behind former UDFA Andre James, according to The Athletic. After trading Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson to the Cardinals, the Raiders gave James an extension. James has played 116 offensive snaps as a pro; all came in 2019.
Nate Solder has moved to the Giants‘ roster bubble, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. The 6-foot-8 veteran worked as New York’s starting left tackle in 2018 and ’19, after signing a then-record tackle contract in free agency, but opted out in 2020. The Giants can spread out Solder’s cap hit over multiple years, but they would face a $13.5MM cumulative dead-money charge by cutting Solder. Andrew Thomas has taken over as New York’s left tackle, with Raanan adding that Solder will compete with second-year blocker Matt Peart for the right tackle job. Solder has not been a full-time right tackle since his rookie season in 2011.
Although former UDFA Daniel Brunskill provided some stability amid 49ers injury chaos last season, starting 16 games, the team plans to return him to a utility role. The 49ers are eyeing second-round pick Aaron Banksas their starting right guard, Matt Barrows and David Lombardi of The Athletic note. Brunskill worked as a swing backup as a rookie in 2019, primarily filling in for left tackle Joe Staley. The 49ers selected Banks 48th overall; the 325-pound rookie started in part of his sophomore season and throughout his junior and senior years at Notre Dame.
Rather than stockpile depth at tackle, the Eagles may look to trade the loser of the Andre Dillard–Jordan Mailata left tackle competition, Eliot Shorr-Parks writes. While keeping both would provide insurance, Shorr-Parks notes moving Mailata in a contract year would make sense and Dillard may lose more value if he goes through this season as a backup. A 2019 first-round pick, Dillard missed all of last season due to injury and has logged just four career starts. A rugby convert chosen as a project in the 2018 seventh round, Mailata spent two full seasons in development but broke into Philadelphia’s starting lineup for 10 games last season.
March 17th, 2021 at 2:16pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Raiders are the busiest team so far on Wednesday move. They’re re-signing another one of their own guys, this time locking up offensive lineman Denzelle Good, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets.
It’s a two-year deal for Good, Fowler reports. The deal is worth $8.36MM, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Good will see $3.19MM in guarantees.
Good signed a one-year deal with the Raiders for $1.7MM in 2019. Then he signed a one-year deal for $2.3MM last offseason. After becoming essentially a full-time starter for Las Vegas this past year, he finally gets the multi-year deal. A seventh-round pick of the Colts in 2015, Good spent his first three-plus seasons in Indy.
He started at least a handful of games each season, but was cut by the Colts late in 2018 and promptly claimed off waivers by the Raiders. He started five games in 2019, but started 14 this past year after Richie Incognito missed most of the season. Las Vegas has done a ton of shuffling to their offensive line this month. Of the Raiders’ Week 1 starting O-line from last season, only Kolton Miller remains with the team
Las Vegas has already cut guards Gabe Jackson and Richie Incognito and traded tackle Trent Brown to New England. Incognito is apparently still a candidate to return, but it sounds like the team views Good as one of their starters for 2021.
Incognito landed on IR in late September after suffering an Achilles injury. The veteran avoided a tear, so there was some optimism he’d return to the lineup once his stay on the IR ended. Instead, the 37-year-old decided to go under the knife.
“I hate to admit that, but we’ve tried everything we can,” Gruden said. “Richie’s tried everything he can to get back on the field. His season is over.”
The Raiders took a risk on the polarizing Incognito last offseason, and Incognito’s impressive performance ultimately earned him a two-year $14MM extension. As Gutierrez points out, the organization has only seen three snaps from their pricey offensive line grouping (which also includes Kolton Miller, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, and Trent Brown).
Fortunately, the Raiders have received solid production from Incognito’s backup, Denzelle Good. Gruden referred to the former seventh-rounder as the team’s “unsung hero,” while quarterback Derek Carr declared him the team MVP (per Gutierrez).
Oct 25: Saturday’s COVID-19 tests for Miller, Good, Hudson, and Jackson came back negative, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter). All four will be available for the Raiders’ battle with the Bucs this afternoon.
Oct. 24: As of Saturday afternoon, the NFL has avoided another major schedule issue. Sunday afternoon’s Raiders-Buccaneers game is a go, and the hosts could well be better equipped to pull an upset.
Brown will miss Sunday’s game, but his blocking mates are on track to play. However, they will not be officially cleared to do so until their Saturday coronavirus tests come back clean, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The team will obtain that information Sunday. Its four non-Brown O-line starters receiving clearance will certainly help Las Vegas’ cause against a Tampa Bay defense ranked first in DVOA through six games.
Recently signed defensive lineman David Irving is also set to make his Raiders debut. Reinstated from an 18-plus-month suspension just last week, Irving signed with the Raiders as a practice squad player. The Raiders will see what the former Cowboys starter can do beginning Sunday. Irving, 27, has not played since the 2018 season, when he saw action in only two games, and has been suspended four times by the NFL. In 2017, however, the interior pass rusher notched seven sacks in just eight games (all starts).
2:56pm: The players the Raiders sent home from the team’s facility Wednesday — Abram, Kolton Miller, Denzelle Good, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson — will be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. These players now qualify as high-risk contacts of Brown and will need to isolate for five days. Their last contact with Brown was Monday, however. That would allow these players — barring a positive test — to play Sunday, though it will sideline them from practice this week. Still, this development probably points to the NFL needing to postpone this game to Monday or Tuesday.
One good sign: no new positive tests emerged from Wednesday’s round of testing, Pelissero tweets. But the issues the Patriots and Titans experienced with the coronavirus illustrate the Raiders have not necessarily turned a corner here.
2:36pm: The NFL is preparing to move the Raiders-Buccaneers game off its Sunday slate, it appears. The league announced Thursday it will shift Bucs-Raiders from a primetime slot to 3:05pm CT Sunday. Seahawks-Cardinals will now be Sunday’s primetime game.
Positive COVID-19 tests for Trent Brown and Damon Arnette have put the Raiders’ Sunday status in jeopardy. Additionally, the NFL and NFLPA are investigating the Raiders for COVID-19 compliance, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.
The league has video of Brown and other Raiders offensive linemen congregating without masks, Pelissero adds, and Brown is not believed to have consistently worn his tracking device. He is now on Las Vegas’ reserve/COVID-19 list, and none of the other Raiders told to isolate — the rest of their starting O-line and safety Johnathan Abram — have returned to practice.
This has obviously clouded Sunday’s game. The Raiders have already had their bye week, giving the NFL another major test in this COVID-19-altered season. Brown is asymptomatic, per Pelissero (video link).
The NFL has shifted a few games around this season, but it has thus far avoided postponing a team’s game after a bye week. Las Vegas’ bye came in Week 6. Were the Raiders to see their Week 7 contest postponed to a later date, the league would run into logistical issues getting that contest scheduled. The rumored Week 18 makeup window remains in play, though the league has been able to avoid serious discussions of implementing it. A Raiders postponement beyond Tuesday would push that issue back to the forefront.
Thursday’s schedule change is not the first time the Raiders have run into COVID-19-related trouble. Jon Gruden was issued a six-figure fine for mask violations in September, and Darren Waller‘s charity event last month featured Raiders seen without masks. For now, the league expects Bucs-Raiders to take place in a lower-profile time slot Sunday. But the schedule change makes it easier for another postponement to commence.
Ahead of a nationally televised game against the Buccaneers, the Raiders are set to be without their Pro Bowl right tackle. They placed Trent Brown on their reserve/COVID-19 list, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.
Per the NFL’s new coronavirus protocols, Brown must isolate for five days. That will shelve him for Sunday night’s game. Brown had just returned from an injury that caused him to miss almost all of Las Vegas’ first four games. He came back in Week 5 to help the team to a key upset in Kansas City.
Because of contract tracing, the Raiders will use a strange collection of offensive linemen in practice for the time being. They sent home the rest of their current entire first-string offensive line — Kolton Miller, Denzelle Good, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson — after the Brown news. Jon Gruden hopes this quartet can return by Thursday, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Having not been placed on the COVID list, the other Raiders first-string blockers would be able to do so. These players’ last contact with Brown came Monday, per the Washington Post’s Mark Maske (on Twitter). Even if they are deemed high-risk close contacts, they would be able to play Sunday — so long as they do not test positive.
The Raiders also sent starting safety Johnathan Abram home, Gutierrez tweets. They used Sam Young, Patrick Omameh, Andre James, rookie John Simpson and former second-round pick Brandon Parker as their first-string O-line in practice Wednesday. Brown, who signed a then-record tackle contract with the Raiders in March 2019, also missed five games last season but became the rare right tackle Pro Bowl selection.
The Brown news comes a day after the Raiders placed cornerback Damon Arnetteon their reserve/COVID-19 list. Individuals do not need to test positive to land on this list, only to be in close contact with someone who has. The upcoming rounds of tests will be critical for the Raiders and the NFL.
For the second straight year, the Raiders plan to bring back Denzelle Good on a one-year extension. The 2018 Oakland waiver claim will join the Raiders in Las Vegas, with The Athletic’s Vic Tafur tweeting the re-up will soon be official.
Last year, the former Colts seventh-round pick signed for one year and $1.7MM. This time around, he’ll get $2.3MM, including $1.4MM guaranteed, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The deal can reach a maximum of $3.3MM, via playtime incentives.
Good started five games for the Raiders last season, doing so at first because of Richie Incognito‘s two-game suspension and then in the season’s final two weeks because of an Incognito injury. The Raiders recently extended Incognito and will bring back his backup as well.
After they focused on other needs in the 2019 draft, the Raiders initially had Good atop their left guard depth chart alongside Gabe Jackson. But the team quickly pivoted to Incognito, who supplanted Good. But the former 20-game Colts starter played in 16 Raiders games last season, doing so after starting three times for the 2018 Raiders.
August 17th, 2019 at 7:38pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
We’ve got a new twist in the seemingly never-ending Antonio Brown saga. The last we had heard, the NFL had given the Raiders receiver the go-ahead to find a helmet of his usual model that was less than ten years old. The league had told him he would be able to play in it if he could find one less than ten years old, but they apparently changed course and told him the new helmet would still need to be tested, a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Brown was able to find “several” of the Schutt AiR Advantage helmets made in the last ten years, but “earlier today, Brown was informed that the helmet failed the test,” Florio writes.
Brown has already reported back to the Raiders, so hopefully this doesn’t cause too much new drama. He had appeared to have gotten over the helmet issue, before this potential loophole came to light. Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be the final word on the helmet. The same source told Florio that “we haven’t heard the last of Brown on this issue,” so we should all buckle up. It’s hard to see what his next move would be, although he apparently has at least one more trick up his sleeve. We’ll keep you posted when we find out what it is.
Here’s more from Oakland:
Speaking of Brown, he at least seems to be headed in the right direction health-wise. Brown appears to be almost over his foot issue, and Raiders coach Jon Gruden said “I think so, yeah,” when asked earlier today if Brown would be a full participant in practice soon, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com. Gruden added that “he took all the reps today in our walkthrough.” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said “you can tell Antonio’s been studying because he came out and didn’t miss a beat,” and that Brown “was a part of everything we did today.” While the helmet issue doesn’t seem to be going away, it looks like Brown’s frostbitten feet won’t be a story moving forward.
There’s been a lot of talk about Oakland’s backup quarterbacks this offseason, mostly due to the infamy of Nathan Peterman. Gruden caused quite the uproar a few weeks ago when he heaped praise on Peterman, leading many to believe he had a legitimate shot to become Carr’s primary clipboard holder. That being said, Vic Tafur of The Athletic predicts he’ll end up getting cut in his new 53-man roster projection. Mike Glennon has been impressive during the preseason, so this isn’t too surprising. There’s also a chance the Raiders decide to keep three quarterbacks because of Gruden’s affinity for Peterman. Notably, Tafur also projects veteran receiver Ryan Grant and defensive tackle Justin Ellis, who just got a $15MM extension last offseason, to miss the cut.
More good injury news for the Raiders, as guard Denzelle Good has been activated off the PUP list and will return to practice, Tafur tweets. “That’s huge for us,” Gruden said. He’s not wrong, as the Raiders are very thin at guard at the moment. Gabe Jackson is currently sidelined with a knee injury and Richie Incognito is suspended for the first two games of the season, so Oakland will be without both of their starting guards in Week 1. Good started three games at guard for the Raiders last season after being claimed off waivers from the Colts. He’ll now presumably join the competition to fill in for Jackson and Incognito. The Raiders are also said to be exploring the trade market for veteran guards.