Raiders

Raiders promote guard; sign linebacker to practice squad

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Raiders promote guard; sign linebacker to practice squad

ALAMEDA – The Raiders have finally hit their roster limit. They played the first three games a man down, choosing not to fill the 53rd roster spot after they placed defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. on injured reserve before the regular season started.

They didn’t really need to fill that spot, considering their relatively good health and the fact that only 46 players can be active on game day.

The Raiders are getting thin along the offensive line, which is why they promoted rookie Denver Kirkland off the practice squad Wednesday afternoon. Kirkland is a versatile piece who can play guard or tackle.

The Raiders don’t have offensive tackles Menelik Watson and Austin Howard available right now due to injury, so Kirkland will strengthen the back end of the depth chart.

Also, linebacker Darnell Sankey was signed to the practice squad. Linebacker Korey Toomer terminated his practice squad contract and signed with the San Diego Chargers.

Why Raiders' Derek Carr is so excited to work with rookie receivers

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USATSI

Why Raiders' Derek Carr is so excited to work with rookie receivers

The joined-at-the-hip nature of the quarterback-coach relationship sometimes means the quarterback being privy to the thought process of the coach. So it was in the days leading up to last April’s draft when Raiders coach Jon Gruden looped in Derek Carr on a pair of prospects the Raiders were targeting.

He said, ‘Look, I like this guy and I like that guy.’ ” Carr remembers Gruden telling him the day before the draft.

It was Carr’s first introduction to Alabama’s Henry Ruggs and South Carolina’s Bryan Edwards, two dynamic college wide receivers Carr would soon be calling teammates.

Read more on the Review-Journal

Raiders assistant tried to convince players Jon Gruden had coronavirus

Raiders assistant tried to convince players Jon Gruden had coronavirus

In the world's worst Michael Scott impression, Raiders assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia recently tried to convince players over Zoom that Jon Gruden has the coronavirus, in an attempt to show how serious this pandemic is. 

"Bisaccia told them, 'Guys, coach Gruden has COVID, and he's at the hospital now and he's being taken care of,' " NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reported Wednesday. "... It wasn't a joke. What it was was the team illustrating to the players that this could happen at any moment, to anybody."

Well, that's one strategy to have right now. This apparent motivational move came just days before Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson actually did test positive for the coronavirus.

"The point to the players was you've got to stay ready, you've got to stay ready," Garafolo said. "... The players really took it to heart from what I've been told, and know going forward that everybody's got to be on the ready because of the world that we are living in right now."

There have been 62 players around the league who officially have opted out this season over concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Three Raiders -- D.J. Killings, Jeremiah Valoaga and Ukeme Eligwe -- have decided to opt out. There's no doubt others had a tough time with their choice as well.

[RELATED: Raiders' Carr has much to prove, tired of being disrespected]

Bisaccia, 60, is entering his 18th season as an NFL coach. This is his third with the Raiders after spending the previous five as a member of the Dallas Cowboys' staff. These are unprecedented times, but the longtime coach missed the mark on this one. Big time. 

The intentions clearly weren't malicious, but that doesn't excuse Bisaccia. Put down the "World's Best Boss" mug and try again. 

[RAIDERS TALK: Listen to the latest episode]