A day of reckoning could be coming for Raiders starting offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor.
Ever since England and the United States were drawn into the same group for the World Cup, the London native has been talking loads of trash in the locker room in anticipation of the matchup.
The teams will finally take the field at 11 a.m. Friday, and Eluemunor’s teammates plan to make his afternoon miserable should the U.S. manage to get a positive result.
“Oh, it’s going to be very bad for him if that happens,” said center Andre James, whose locker is near Eluemunor’s at the Raiders’ facility. “We’re ready.”
Eluemunor already got a glimpse of what could be in store on a smaller scale, as fullback Jakob Johnson has been the subject of ridicule since his native Germany was stunned by Japan.
“We gave him such a hard time the other day,” practice squad center Hroniss Grasu said. “Even in a meeting, (coach Josh McDaniels) stopped to ask if everything was OK with him. It was so fun. It just adds to a good environment in the locker room.”
Eluemunor said he plans to show up for practice Friday fully decked out in England apparel and isn’t wavering in his confidence.
“I’m not worried at all,” Eluemunor said. “I always think we’re going to win it all. Destroy the U.S. Destroy Wales. Probably play Senegal in the knockout stage, beat them and then probably France in the quarterfinals. Maybe Belgium in the semis and go from there.
“It’s not an easy path, but we can definitely do it. Belgium didn’t look too good against Canada. Argentina got smacked. The U.S. was supposed to beat Wales, now they have to hope for a tie against us.”
A draw would actually be a good result for the U.S., certainly good enough for a barrage of mockery aimed at Eluemunor.
“What a blessing that would be,” tight end Foster Moreau said. “Even a tie, we’ll take it. Jermaine talks a lot. Like, a lot.”
The offensive line, and Grasu in particular, is who Eluemunor said would give him the most grief.
“And they don’t know a damn thing about soccer, but they pretend like all of a sudden they’re experts,” Eluemunor said. “They’re going to get smacked.”
He better hope so. If not, his teammates are ready.
“I go at it with him about everything in life,” Grasu said. “I’ve known him for a long time because we played together in Baltimore. He’s one of my best friends on the team. There’s just healthy smack talk back-and-forth about any little thing and everything. He’s always representing his country, which is great. But this is the World Cup. They’re supposed to be the powerhouse, so if we win he’s not going to hear the end of it.”
Defensive tackle Kendal Vickers was added to the injury report Thursday with a back injury.
He did not participate in practice, the team’s first full session of the week after a walk-through Wednesday.
Vickers has played in eight games this season, but was inactive for Sunday’s road game against the Broncos. He was not listed on the injury report ahead of the game.
Offensive tackle Kolton Miller (shoulder/abdomen) and linebacker Luke Masterson (ribs) were limited for the second straight day.
Moving on again
The Falcons released former Raiders wide receiver Bryan Edwards on Thursday.
Edwards, a 2020 third-round pick of the Raiders, had three catches for 15 yards in seven games for Atlanta this season after he was traded to the Falcons along with a seventh-round pick for a fifth-round selection during training camp.
The 24-year-old had 45 catches for 764 yards and four touchdowns over 28 games, including 15 starts, in two seasons with the Raiders.
John Madden, the former Raiders coach turned commentating legend and video game icon, was honored by the NFL during each of the three live game broadcasts Thursday.
All three stadiums featured a “John Madden Thanksgiving” logo on the 25-yard line in tribute to Madden, who died in December. Madden called 20 Thanksgiving Day games and helped make the holiday almost synonymous with the NFL.
Players in each game also wore helmet stickers commemorating Madden, whose voice served as the lead-in for each of the telecasts.