The Raiders arrived at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on Sunday morning expecting to have Trent Brown back starting at right tackle. Instead they were left scrambling to fill his spot after watching him get wheeled out of the locker room before the game, according to quarterback Derek Carr.
NFL Network reported that Brown was sent to the hospital after a pregame IV caused air to enter his bloodstream. Brown will reportedly remain hospitalized overnight.
“Honestly, I’m human, I got a little scared for Trent,” Carr said after the win. “I was like, ‘Man, I hope he’s OK.’ We had no clue what was happening. All of a sudden, we come in and they’re wheeling him out and I’m like, ‘Bro, what is going on?’ It was crazy and so as a team we prayed for him. … But then you have to compartmentalize what just happened with we have to go win a football game in the worst weather I’ve ever played in in my life.”
Gruden didn’t have an update on Brown after the game.
“We are just going to say that he got ill here in the locker room,” he said. “He is being evaluated right now, and we will update you as soon as we know something. I am told that everything is OK.”
Brown tested positive for COVID-19 nearly two weeks ago and missed last week’s home loss to the Buccaneers. He was cleared to return to practice on Friday and was expected to return to the lineup on Sunday.
Instead, Sam Young got the start at right tackle before an injury caused him to leave the game in favor of Brandon Parker. Coach Jon Gruden said Parker expected to be inactive Sunday before learning of Brown’s illness, which the team said in a statement is not COVID-related.
“When Brandon Parker woke up today, he was inactive,” Gruden said. “We are fortunate to have him. You have to give the offensive line and Tom Cable and Greg Olson a great amount of credit. What they have been through the last two weeks is incomprehensible, but I think football people understand what we have been through up front in the last couple ball games is bizarre.”
Just kicking it
Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson knew his job was going to be an adventure Sunday with swirling sustained winds around 30 miles per hour and gusts much stronger.
He learned on his first attempt of the day it was even more difficult than he expected.
Carlson’s first attempt started right and blew across the goalposts only to hit the left upright and bounce off for a miss.
“That was by far the windiest game I’ve ever played in, I think most of the team has ever played in,” he said after the game. “I aimed the first one at the right upright. I hit basically an A-plus ball exactly how I wanted, just didn’t factor in the wind quite enough. Luckily, I was able to learn from it and bounce back and have good operations, good holds, good protection and get points on the board the rest of the game.”
Carlson made his final three field goal attempts and his lone extra point of the game to tie a season-high with 10 points. Before the game, TV cameras picked up a discussion between him and Cleveland kicker Cody Parkey, a college teammate at Auburn.
“He was giving me some pointers to the best of his ability and we were kind of talking through what we were thinking with the wind,” Carlson said. “I’m going to figure it out either way, but I think most specialists around the league are pretty friendly to each other. It was pretty obvious that one end was extremely tough. Learned some lessons today.”
Gruden fell to 1-2 on challenges this season when he tossed the red flag to have the officials take a second look at a potential catch by Henry Ruggs in the end zone on Sunday.
Ruggs had possession of the ball with his right foot in bounds, but the closest official ruled his left toe came down on the sideline and ruled the pass incomplete.
After review, the ruling was upheld. Gruden was 1-9 on challenges last season.
A zoomed-in still image of the foot appearing to touch down with green grass showing between the toe and the sideline was retweeted by Ruggs after the game.