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Jon Gruden focused on Saints, not on opening Allegiant

Updated September 19, 2020 - 2:29 pm

Raiders coach Jon Gruden declared Saturday that he wasn’t in the mood to get too deep or philosophical about the significance of the first game at Allegiant Stadium. Sure, it’s important, but not as important to him as beating the New Orleans Saints.

“I think we understand the responsibility of playing well here,” Gruden said. “We’ve got to play a hell of a football team coming in here and that’s got to be where our focus is. The Saints.”

Gruden said he was developing a “sore stomach” after listing all the things the Saints do well, calling them “as complete a football team as there is in this league.”

“They have a lot of continuity at the critical positions. They’ve got a great coach. … They’ve got a Pro Bowl punter (Thomas Morstead). It’s going to be a tough game for us. We know that. But it’ll be a good measuring stick to see where we are.”

Ruggs back to practice

Wide receiver Henry Ruggs (knee) returned to practice Saturday after sitting out Thursday and Friday, and is questionable for Monday. Ruggs caught three of five targets for 55 yards in his NFL debut last week, a 34-30 road victory over the Carolina Panthers.

Right tackle Trent Brown (calf), linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (pectoral) and swing tackle Sam Young (groin) did not participate Saturday and are listed as doubtful.

Offensive tackle Brandon Parker was inactive last week, but could be active Monday should Brown and Young not play. Gruden reaffirmed confidence in Parker, who started three games in 2019 and has been developing as a swing tackle.

“That’s a hard job for anybody. We think he’s improving, and if needs to play he’ll get a chance to prove it,” Gruden said.

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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