The Raiders had their concerns about this extended road trip. But suddenly, things are looking up for the Silver and Black.
Jon Gruden and Co. went into Indianapolis on Sunday and beat the Colts 31-24.
Now, the Raiders will head to London for a Week 5 "home game" against the Chicago Bears, who could be without their starting quarterback, Mitch Trubisky.
Trubisky left Sunday's game against the Vikings after landing on his left shoulder. He went into the locker room for observations and came back out with his left arm in a sling.
At the moment, Bears coach Matt Nagy isn't sure how serious Trubisky's injury is.
“That part is frustrating because he had a really good week of practice, and every week he's so excited to get back at it and really get this thing going,” Nagy told reporters via NBC Sports Chicago. “... I want the kid to do really well. How many plays was it, six? I'm sure that part is frustrating.”
The good news for Trubisky is that Nagy doesn't believe it's a season-ending injury.
Nagy acknowledged that the team will find out more on Trubisky’s status Monday or Tuesday.
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If Trubisky can't play Sunday in London, the Bears will turn to backup Chase Daniels, who stepped in and completed 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown against Minnesota.
The Raiders have a chance to come home from London with a 3-2 record, so they could be hoping the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft is forced to miss the game.
Two notable Raiders additions in the offseason, tight end Jason Witten and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, met with the media via a Zoom call Monday.
Here are five takeaways on what was said.
1. One major reason the Raiders brought in Witten, who became one of the NFL’s top tight ends over 16 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, was for his veteran leadership. Coach Jon Gruden even asked Witten to speak to the team a few days ago about the importance of high character.
“It’s vital,” Witten said. “This league’s too hard regardless of how talented you are, and I shared this with the guys. … The margin for error is so small in this league that’s how you have to approach it. I was blown away by the skill set. You can see it. I’ve also seen the guys love football. They work hard. They’re accountable.”
It's no secret how fast Raiders rookie receiver Henry Ruggs is. With his 4.27 40-yard dash speed, he's in the end zone in the blink of an eye.
The Raiders were enamored with Ruggs' speed, and rightfully so. That certainly played a big role in the Silver and Black selecting the former Alabama receiver with the No. 11 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. But it wasn't the only reason.
Ruggs had some of the best hands in the draft, and he proved that with an insane one-handed grab for a touchdown early on in Raiders training camp.
It's easy to see why the Raiders fell in love with Ruggs before the draft. He tallied 86 receptions for 1,487 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns his final two years for the Crimson Tide. Ruggs should have a big role in the offense, and the hope is he connects right away with quarterback Derek Carr.
So far, so good.
Ruggs should be used all over the field as a rookie, as the Raiders find ways to get the ball in his hands. And it appears he will start off in the slot.
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“We’ll start with Ruggs III in the slot and do some things with Ruggs III," offensive coordinator Greg Olson said to reporters last week, via Raiders Wire. "But those guys (Ruggs and Bryan Edwards) are very multiple in what they can do and that’s the goal is to be able to move all of them around to different spots; the one, two or three position at the wide receiver.”
Whether it be on the inside or outside, Ruggs will play a big part in the Raiders' offense right away. His ridiculous one-handed grab was just another preview of what's to come.