Established stars Derek Carr and Davante Adams will be in attendance on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium when the Raiders play host to the Minnesota Vikings in a preseason game.
Whether they play is a question coach Josh McDaniels left lingering before Friday’s indoor practice at the team facility in Henderson.
“You’ll definitely see them at the stadium,” McDaniels said with a laugh. “They’ll all be there.”
Neither Carr nor Adams played in the preseason opener last week and would likely only see cameos should they take the field at all on Sunday. Several other players appear to have their positions locked down and could find themselves in similar situations.
McDaniels said some of the decisions are based on giving players who are competing for starting positions or roster spots a chance to prove themselves in game situations.
Even though they don’t want to reveal it, McDaniels and his staff have a firm plan in place for how to handle Sunday’s game. But there is always room for adjustments.
“There’s a lot of things that … go on during the game that could make us make a decision we’d otherwise not do,” he said. “We try to use each opportunity we have, whether it’s a practice or a game in the month of August to the best of our ability to help us get to ultimately what we need to get to, which is to make the best evaluation of our team.”
The Vikings don’t have a decision to make on whether to play their starting quarterback. Kirk Cousins tested positive for COVID and will not make the trip to Las Vegas.
Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell did not indicate whether Sean Mannion or Kellen Mond will start the game, though they are expected to split time in the game.
Star tight end Darren Waller was absent from Friday’s session and has not been seen on the practice field since July 30.
Asked whether the situation was related to an injury or perhaps had to do with Waller’s pursuit of a new contract, McDaniels flashed a grin. “He’s working to get back,” the coach said.
A tweet posted a short time later by ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed Waller is dealing with a minor hamstring issue.
Offensive tackle Brandon Parker also remained out after suffering an apparent arm injury in Thursday’s preseason game.
“Both guys are working back,” McDaniels said. “We have a lot of guys I would say are in that boat right now.”
Defensive end Clelin Ferrell, running back Josh Jacobs, linebackers Divine Deablo and Denzel Perryman and cornerbacks Rock Ya-Sin and Anthony Averett were among the player who didn’t practice on Friday.
“It’s our third real week of training camp and I think this is practice 15 or something in that vicinity,” McDaniels said. “A lot of guys with bumps or bruises and they’re all just working extremely hard to try to get back as soon as possible. When they’re ready to go, then we’ll get them out there and try to continue to build.”
The Raiders signed free agent defensive back Nate Brooks and placed cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc on injured reserve in a corresponding move.
Brooks, a North Texas alum, was released by the Cardinals earlier this week. He has been a part of six organizations since entering the league in 2019, playing a total of four regular-season games. He spent much of the 2019 season on the Patriots’ practice squad.
LeBlanc is ineligible to play for the Raiders this season as a result of the designation.