Updated November 27, 2023 - 11:49 am
Instead of using Thanksgiving night to watch film and make final preparations to play the Chiefs, Maxx Crosby spent the night in a hospital and left his status for the game in doubt.
But the Raiders’ star defensive end isn’t one to take no for an answer and decided to push through and suit up. He jokingly offered a public postgame apology to the team’s training staff for the phone calls and texts at all hours as he tried to get cleared to play.
“It’s been rough,” Crosby said after a 31-17 loss Sunday at Allegiant Stadium. “It was a long week, battled a lot of things. But I don’t want to miss any games regardless. Things happen in life. I’ve been through a lot in general. Some people have their opinions and think I’m crazy, but I know I’m crazy. So it’s fun; I love it.”
Crosby, the first player in the NFL to play this season despite a doubtful tag, has been dealing with a knee issue since the first month of the season, and the area was heavily bandaged in the locker room. According to the CBS broadcast crew, Crosby said the knee will have to be addressed in the offseason.
His hospital stay had to do with an infection, but Crosby did not say whether the two conditions were related.
“I had some real issues going on,” he said. “I was down for the count for a few days. I’m lucky I have great people and a great team around me that helped me a lot.”
Crosby wouldn’t put a number on the percentage he played at, but admitted he was hurting.
“I was in a lot of pain, I’ll say that,” he said. “But it’s what it is. I train all year round to do this, to give myself the opportunity to play 17 guaranteed games, and if I can go, I’m going to go.”
Crosby played almost the entire game — as is his custom — and recorded the team’s only sack on Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who praised his rival.
“He’s a dog, man. The fact he played today speaks to who he is,” Mahomes said. “That’s the kind of guy you want on your team. I have a ton of respect for him.”
Historically clean effort
The Raiders didn’t commit a penalty or turnover for the first time in franchise history.
They had registered four previous games without being flagged, with the last instance coming in a December 2005 loss to the Chargers.
No team had gone a game without a penalty or turnover since the Packers in 2020, and no team had lost such a game since the Jaguars fell 25-23 to the Steelers in 2002.
Raiders rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell, who was sacked just once and had his first turnover-free start, credited the offensive line for giving the team the opportunity to play such a clean game.
“They did an awesome job,” he said. “They throw a lot of different things at you and continue that throughout the game. They threw new looks, some we’ve seen and some we haven’t. Kudos to the line for playing really hard and keeping me upright.”
Star wide receiver Davante Adams caught all five targets for 73 yards as the Raiders built a 14-0 second-quarter lead.
But he didn’t catch another pass and had just two wayward targets thrown his way the rest of the game.
“No disrespect to them, but it was more about what we were doing,” Adams said. “We just didn’t really execute the way we had been that put us in position to put points on the board. We have to do a better job of sticking to the things that get us to that point, staying aggressive and finding a way to finish.
“It’s frustrating, and it’s confusing. I don’t know why it went the way it did, but we just couldn’t figure it out in the second half.”
Interim coach Antonio Pierce said plays were there to be had, but the offense couldn’t make them. O’Connell took the blame.
“With Davante, you try to look for opportunities as much as you can,” O’Connell said. “I know I missed him on that third-and-8 at the end of the game, and I missed him on a few more. It’s my responsibility to get him the ball.”
Contact Adam Hill at email@example.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.