When the Raiders put recently signed Nick O’Leary on the reserve/non-football injury list last month, general wisdom was that the journeyman tight end had simply tired of football and was calling it quits.
But it turns out to have been far more serious than that.
O’Leary, the grandson of golfing great Jack Nicklaus, revealed to the Palm Beach Post that he underwent two surgical procedures to clear 100 percent blockage to his heart last month after twice experiencing a sharp pain in his left arm and up toward his chest.
The second occurrence happened after O’Leary played pickup basketball with his brother. He told the Palm Beach Post he joked with his brother that “there’s something wrong with my heart,” but the incident convinced him to go to the hospital.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr on Tuesday compared rookie wide receiver Bryan Edwards to Carr’s former Fresno State teammate and current Packers’ star Davante Adams. On Friday one of Edwards’ high school coaches said he has long seen similarities to another perennial All-Pro.
“He’s always reminded me of A.J. Green,” said Conway (S.C.) head coach Carlton Terry, who was an assistant when Edwards played there and coached against Green in high school. “They both just have that ability to make plays at receiver and return punts. Just men on the field in comparison to the other players. Not only did they stand out vertically, but for big men to have that athleticism is just so rare.”
Edwards’ natural gifts were evident from the moment he walked into Conway High School as a 13-year-old freshman.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden on Thursday talked about the need to adapt every day to the practice availability of his players.
It went without saying he was referring to the potential impact of COVID-19, the constant shadow he and the Raiders will be operating under this year.
By late afternoon, that possibility became a reality when Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby and running back Rod Smith were added to the COVID-19 injured reserve list.