CARSON, Calif. — Raiders rookie cornerback Trayvon Mullen exited Sunday’s game on a stretcher late in the fourth quarter after sustaining a violent inadvertent hit from his teammate, safety Curtis Riley. But head coach Jon Gruden said following the game that initial signs were positive on Mullen’s prognosis.
On third-and-6 from the Raiders’ 32, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed a pass to wide receiver Andre Patton for a 10-yard gain and a first down. But as Mullen was making the tackle, Riley attempted to ensure Patton didn’t gain any more yards. But instead of hitting Patton, he landed a forceful hit on Mullen.
Mullen was stabilized before being rolled off the field on the stretcher. Mullen put a hand up as he left, acknowledging the crowd as it applauded.
Following the game, Gruden said Mullen was at a nearby hospital where his neck was being evaluated.
“The signs are pretty good. But I don’t want to say too much,” Gruden said. “We’ll keep you posted and we’ll keep him in our prayers.”
This was the second time Mullen had taken a hard hit from a teammate during the game. Midway through the second quarter, Mullen was tackling Chargers tight end Hunter Henry when fellow defensive back Lamarcus Joyner delivered a blow to Mullen’s head and neck area. Mullen was cleared to return to the game.
Safety Erik Harris said watching Mullen sustain that kind of injury was scary.
“Whenever somebody gets injured, you never want to see it. But when they bring that stretcher out, it kind of takes your breath away, right? Especially a young guy like that,” Harris said.
A second-round pick out of Clemson, Mullen has started each game since Week 8 following the Raiders’ trade of Gareon Conley to the Texans. He’s recorded one interception and nine passes defensed this season.