Raiders defense hit hard by COVID-19

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Las Vegas Raiders players celebrate a fumble recovery by Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Nevin Lawson (26) against the Denver Broncos during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Much of the Raiders starting defense has gone on the COVID-19 list because they have come in contract with DL Clelin Ferrell who has tested positive for coronavirus. What impact that will have on Sunday’s showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs is still unknown.

From Grant Gordon of NFL.com:

Following a positive coronavirus test for defensive end Clelin Ferrell, at least eight Las Vegas Raiders starting defensive players and other players who play key roles on the team are being put on the reserve/COVID-19 list as high-risk close contacts, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday afternoon.

The players will be eligible to play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs should they continue to test negatively, Rapoport added, though some will only be eligible on Sunday, meaning practicing ahead of the key game will not be possible.

Ferrell’s positive test and subsequent placement on the reserve/COVID-19 was reported earlier Wednesday.

Ferrell is likely out for Sunday night’s game against the Chiefs. Those in close contact with him will likely be forced to miss multiple practices ahead of the game as aforementioned. Safety Lamarcus Joyner was previously identified as a close contact and placed on the reserve/COVID-19.

Offensive tackle Trent Brown and linebacker Cory Littleton were also placed on the list this week. Littleton likewise has a positive test, while Brown hasn’t played since Week 5 and has been on the list multiple times.

Las Vegas’ starting defense’s availability comes into question on the same day in which the NFL announced that beginning Saturday, all 32 teams must operate under the league’s intensive protocol for the remainder of the season.

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