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Raiders report: Missing helmet forces first-quarter audible

Updated November 23, 2021 - 9:33 am


All practices at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center, unless noted:

Tuesday — Practice, 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday — Walkthrough, 10 a.m.

Thursday — at Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, 1:30 p.m.

Friday — Off

Saturday — Off

Sunday — Off

Quote of the Day

Running back Peyton Barber got the first carry of Sunday’s game for the Raiders after they forced a fumble and took possession inside the Bengals’ 10-yard line. He picked up three yards on the play.

Barber is a capable running back who gained 111 yards against the Dolphins on Sept. 26 and has 20 career rushing touchdowns.

But his big game came when Josh Jacobs was hurt. The Raiders’ backfield touches have gone almost exclusively to Jacobs and Kenyan Drake over the past few weeks.

In fact, Barber’s carry on the first offensive snap was his first offensive touch since Oct. 4. It also was the only snap he played.

Now there’s an explanation.

“The first play of the game, someone had taken Josh’s helmet and accidentally put it on their head without realizing it,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Monday. “So we didn’t have Josh (available) on the first run of the game.”

Injury report

Starting left guard John Simpson missed Monday’s walkthrough practice after exiting Sunday’s game with an injury. Interim coach Rich Bisaccia said he was unsure about Simpson’s status for Thursday’s road game against the Cowboys.

“He has a little bit of an oblique strain that I think is going to make him day-to-day,” Bisaccia said Monday. “He just had his MRI done this morning, so we’re kind of feeling that one out.”

Jordan Simmons finished the game at left guard on Sunday and would be expected to take over should Simpson not be able to play.

Bisaccia said there were no other real injury concerns coming out of Sunday’s loss to the Bengals.

Kicker Daniel Carlson did miss Monday’s practice due to illness. Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski and cornerback Keisean Nixon, who both missed Sunday’s game with ankle injuries, did not return for Monday’s practice.

Running back Jalen Richard was still limited by the rib injury he was able to play through on Sunday.


Fullback Sutton Smith was sent back to the practice squad after getting a gameday elevation and playing in Sunday’s game.

Bisaccia said the former star defensive end in college played well on special teams with Kwiatkoski and Nixon out and Alec Ingold on injured reserve.

Safety Jordan Brown was placed on the practice squad/COVID-19 list.

Third-and-Oh no

The Raiders continue to struggle to convert on third down, a trend that is getting more troubling by the week. After a 1-for-7 performance on Sunday, the Raiders have now converted just two of their last 16 attempts on third down.

Those struggles have led to significant deficits in time of possession and an inability to extend drives. The Raiders had just 47 offensive snaps on Sunday, their fewest in at least the decade the stat has been formally tracked.

Bisaccia said there has been some thought to going for it more on fourth down, but some third-and-1s have become third-and-4 with negative plays. Last week, the offense lined up to go for it on fourth-and-1 only to commit a false start.

Edj Sports rated Bisaccia’s decision to punt from the Raiders’ 31-yard line on fourth-and-1 early in the third quarter as the fourth-worst coaching decision of the week, costing the team 4.4 percent of win probability.

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