ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Raiders ruled out wide receiver Martavis Bryant on Monday and wide receiver Jordy Nelson on Friday.
Bryant (posterior cruciate ligament damage) and Nelson (contusion) exited Sunday’s home game against the Los Angeles Chargers with knee injuries. Neither will face the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday. That alone would be a difficult setback for the Raiders. Compounding it, the team was forced to cancel Thursday’s and Friday’s sessions because of poor air quality.
Raiders have downgraded WR Jordy Nelson (knee) from questionable to out Sunday vs. Cardinals.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 16, 2018
In lieu of practice, the club had walk-throughs at an off-site indoor location.
Rookies Marcell Ateman and Saeed Blacknall will make their NFL debuts Sunday. Ateman was a seventh-round pick. Blacknall went undrafted.
“They’ve had a good couple of days in the ice rink,” coach Jon Gruden said, “so we’ll see if they’re ready to roll.”
Smoke from the devastating Camp Fire, about 140 miles northeast in Butte County, California, continues to blanket the Bay Area, affecting the air quality in the area.
The NFL almost certainly would have relocated this weekend’s Raiders game had it been scheduled for home.
“The practices have impacted us,” Gruden said. “You need to see things at speed to generate timing. Switching stunts in a walk-through in an indoor facility is one thing, in a controlled fashion. Switching them on a practice field at full speed is another.
“Timing out routes, seeing it at speed — that’s why you see a lot of indoor facilities around the league. It gets bad outside, they go inside. Fortunately for us, we were able to find a place to get some work in.”
Coaches and players have been careful this week whenever discussing Camp Fire-related inconvenience. They’ve stressed appreciation for those experiencing true tragedy and hardship.
Authorities said Friday morning that the wildfire has killed more than 60 people with more than 600 more missing. Almost 12,000 structures, most of which are homes, have been destroyed.
“Our lives, as of this moment, are not affected like their lives are being right now,” offensive lineman Jon Feliciano said. “All our hopes and prayers are with them.”
■ Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the Heidi Game, a 43-32 Raiders win over the New York Jets. NBC notoriously cut its broadcast late in the fourth quarter to show “Heidi,” a made-for-TV movie. The Raiders scored two touchdowns in the final 42 seconds.
■ Cornerback Gareon Conley (groin), linebacker Kyle Wilber (knee) and cornerback Nick Nelson (illness) are listed as questionable to play Sunday.