ALAMEDA – There was some question whether Antonio Brown would be available when the Raiders play the Denver Broncos on Monday night.
Not to coordinator Greg Olson and the offensive staff. They were planning for Brown to play.
The Raiders were mulling a suspension for conduct detrimental to the team after a Wednesday altercation with general manager Mike Mayock over fines for unexcused absences.
Olson’s premonition was right. The Raiders will have Brown available, a fact that helps the Raiders immensely.
“I planned on having him all along,” Olson said. “We had a bit of a glitch the other day, but that has been cleared up. So nothing has really changed.”
Brown has missed considerable time this preseason recovering from his foot issues, dealing with helmet frustrations and this latest incident, where he was told to stay home Thursday. The Raiders don’t think that will hinder his performance or the offense’s ability to get him involved Monday night.
“He’s the top player at the position in the game, and he does some things that are special,” Olson said. “We were aware of that when we signed this guy. We have gone through the game planning. He has done some things in individual drills. He has missed some time, but we feel good about where he and [quarterback Derek Carr] are at in terms of timing.”
The Raiders had a contingency plan if he were unavailable, but Brown is back and fully healthy and wowing coaches and teammates in practice, as Hall of Fame talents are known to do.
“Again, I expected him to play all along,” Olson said. “I know there was a lot of different information out there and what the plan was, but I knew [head Ccoach] Jon [Gruden] and Mike [Mayock] had full confidence in whatever decision they made.
“Today was a red zone day. We had most of our base game plan in, but we were prepared that if the decision were to go a different direction that we were prepared to install more plays today, but it worked out great the way it worked out.”
Brown and Tyrell Williams will be the primary receivers, and Olson said Hunter Renfrow and Ryan Grant will be involved playing from the slot. J.J. Nelson has been limited with an ankle injury, as the Raiders are easing him back into the mix.