Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was happy to see big No. 77 back in the huddle on Wednesday. Pro Bowl right tackle Trent Brown hasn’t played since Oct. 11, but is working his way back to the field after being activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week.
“It was lovely to see Trent out at practice today,” Carr said Wednesday to reporters. “Anyone would be silly to say it wasn’t. Our offensive line, I think, is the best in the NFL. … I just hope he’s healthy and ready to rock.”
When the Raiders signed Brown to a four-year, $66 million deal in 2019, he became the NFL's highest-paid tackle in league history. He and Carr are tied for the team’s biggest 2020 cap hit with their respective $21.5 million agreements. But Brown has only played in 13 of a possible 28 games since inking that deal, beset by injuries and other health complications.
He played in three snaps of the 2020 season opener before exiting with a calf injury, returning for the Week 5 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. But he’s been on the reserve/COVID-19 list since, a stint that was further complicated by a botched pregame IV in Week 8.
“He has a big impact,” Carr said. “There’s just so much more space to move. He’s the best in the world at what he does. It’s just a credit to how dominant he is. You drop back and there’s nothing there.”
Brown, listed at 6-foot-8, 380 pounds, will be absolutely crucial to providing some stability to a Raiders offensive line that has been playing musical chairs all season. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they might be in danger of playing without running back Josh Jacobs for the second straight week, as he missed practice on Wednesday and the team recently brought veteran back Spencer Ware in for a workout.
If Brown returns to action Sunday vs. the Indianapolis Colts he’ll face a stiff assignment, as Justin Houston is coming off a three-sack performance against the Houston Texans.
“It’s the first time Trent has really practiced with the first team in a while,” coach Jon Gruden said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”