The Raiders just finished a season that saw them lose key players left and right as they stumbled to a 7-9 season, barely missing the NFL playoffs.
We are five days into the offseason and the Raiders already are down a cornerback for Week 1 next year, as Nevin Lawson was suspended one game for using his helmet as a weapon during the end of the Silver and Black's Week 17 loss to the Denver Broncos, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Friday.
#Raiders CB Nevin Lawson has been suspended without pay for one game for his actions in Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos. He used his helmet as a weapon.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 3, 2020
He will be eligible to return in Week 2 of the 2020 season.
Lawson was ejected at the end of the loss in Denver. There was a skirmish after the Raiders' failed onside kick attempt and Lawson was ejected from the game. Television cameras didn't show what led to the skirmish, but NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan cited a violation of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 17.
"A player may not use a helmet that is no longer worn by anyone as a weapon to strike, swing at, or throw at an opponent," the rule states.
The Raiders will enter the offseason with rookie Trayvon Mullen firmly entrenched as the team's top corner. Opposite cornerback Daryl Worley is set to be a free agent and rookie Isaiah Johnson never got playing time after suffering a facial fracture in the preseason.
Head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock undoubtedly will want to bring in another corner or two either in free agency or in the draft. Lawson wasn't effective when he did play, and it's unlikely he would be a starter entering next season, but it's just one more thing for the Raiders to deal with as they prepare to move to Las Vegas.