Updated September 25, 2020 - 2:55 pm
First-round Raiders pick Henry Ruggs was listed as out and will miss Sunday’s game against the Patriots with knee and hamstring injuries.
The speedy wide receiver was questionable last week heading into Monday night’s game against the Saints before ultimately playing, though he was limited to one catch for four yards and was targeted just three times.
Ruggs, who has four receptions for 59 yards on the season, did draw a pivotal pass interference penalty on a deep throw late in the fourth quarter on a third down play that helped preserve the victory.
His absence Sunday could put more pressure on the rest of the Raiders’ offensive standouts, though there are health concerns throughout the unit.
Tight end Darren Waller (knee) and running back Josh Jacobs (hip) were both limited in practice on Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday.
“They practiced a little bit,” Gruden said. “They’ll be questionable for the game. We’ll just have to wait and see how it goes here in the next day or two.”
Missing one or both of those offensive stars would be massive for an offense that relies heavily on both of its stars.
Those two players accounted for 42 touches on Monday, not including the four incomplete targets intended for Waller.
The absence of Ruggs creates playing time for veteran wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Zay Jones. Agholor has two receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown. Jones’ only reception came on a 15-yard TD pass in Monday’s win over the Saints.
There are also question marks up front.
Starting right tackle Trent Brown will miss his second straight game with a calf injury after playing just three snaps in the opener. Left guard Richie Incognito was placed on injured reserve this week with an Achilles injury.
Sam Young, Brown’s backup, went down early in the opener and missed Monday’s game, though he got in limited sessions all week and could play on Sunday.
That would likely mean Denzelle Good, who is also questionable with a thumb injury and an illness, can shift back to his more natural guard position in place of Incognito. Good has filled in admirably at right tackle since Young went down.
Rookie guard John Simpson, who replaced Incognito against the Saints in the first half, got in full practices all week despite a shoulder injury and doesn’t carry an injury designation into Sunday’s game.
Gruden said exactly how the offensive line is constructed for Sunday’s game will depend on availability.
“It’s a mystery,” he said. “We don’t know who is up at any position, so we’re hoping we can find five starters that are healthy and ready to go.”
On defense, linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski will miss his second consecutive game with a pectoral injury.