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Raiders expect star pass rusher to play Sunday, but not left tackle

Updated December 8, 2023 - 7:20 pm

Maxx Crosby is expected to play Sunday against the Vikings, Raiders interim coach Antonio Pierce said Friday.

Starting left tackle Kolton Miller will miss the 1:05 p.m. game at Allegiant Stadium, however.

Miller was the only Raiders player declared out on the team’s official injury report. Crosby was among several listed as questionable, but Pierce provided a pretty definitive answer about the status of the team’s star pass rusher.

“I would expect Maxx to be ready to roll,” Pierce said. “Without a doubt, yes sir, I feel good about it.”

Crosby has been dealing with a nagging knee injury since early in the season, and it’s affected his practice schedule over the past few weeks. Crosby missed all of practice two weeks ago. He also did not work out Wednesday or Thursday this week before getting in a limited session Friday.

Crosby became the first player in the NFL this year to play in a game despite being listed as doubtful when the Raiders lost to the Chiefs on Nov. 26. He’s been able to deal with the pain in his knee, but his status that week was impacted by an infection that caused him to spend a night in the hospital two days before kickoff.

Crosby did not speak to local reporters this week. Pierce said managing Crosby’s workload the rest of the season will be key to avoid any long-term damage.

“That’s where it’s my job to protect the player from himself,” Pierce said. “And you know Maxx, if he goes out there, he’s going to go 100 (percent). And I thought in the game against the Chiefs, we did a good job of managing it.”

Miller has dealt with a shoulder issue for the better part of the month. He missed two games before returning against the Chiefs and playing 91 percent of the offensive snaps.

He was unable to practice this week even after the Raiders’ bye. That means he’ll miss his third game of the season.

Jermain Eluemunor should shift to left tackle in Miller’s absence, based on how the Raiders handled things previously. Thayer Munford is expected to enter the lineup at right tackle.

In other injury news, linebacker Kana’i Mauga (knee) and cornerback Brandon Facyson (shin) were both full participants in Friday’s practice. They’re both questionable for Sunday’s game. Both are on injured reserve and would need to be activated in order to play.

Kicker Daniel Carlson is good to go against the Vikings, his former team, after missing practice Thursday with an illness.

“I’m feeling good,” Carlson said. “I was a little sick yesterday, but it was just more precautionary and trying not to get everyone else sick.”

Stepping up

There are opportunities up for grabs this week and beyond for several Raiders cornerbacks.

Veteran Marcus Peters was playing close to 100 percent of the team’s defensive snaps before being benched against the Chiefs and released the next day. That opens up a lot of playing time.

Second-year corner Jack Jones, who was claimed off waivers from the Patriots last month, could get the first shot at taking it.

“Hell yeah. It’s a big opportunity,” said Jones, who has known Pierce since he was in high school. “I just have to take advantage. I have to execute and do what I’m supposed to in order to put myself in position to take advantage of it.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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