Originally published by RaidersNewswire.com
Despite the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has gotten worse in recent weeks, the NFL has managed to keep the 2020 season going.
Nearly every team in the league has been affected by the virus, but the Las Vegas Raiders were one of the harder hit squads. Prior to their Week 11 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Raiders were missing nine defensive players due to COVID-19 protocol and they would end up losing 35-31 to fall to 6-4.
Las Vegas was in position to win the game, but a disappointing showing during the Chiefs’ two-minute drill cost them. While the loss of some of their key players on defense hurt, Maxx Crosby refused to make any excuses, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic:
“(Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther) tells us all the time that there are no excuses. We had all those guys out for practice and we still should have won that game. It came down to us making one stop on the last play. It actually gives you more confidence — we were pissed off afterward because we beat ourselves. Mental errors, missed assignments or just not good communication … you know, that is a part of it not being at practice all week, you can’t really work on that. But they were in the Zoom meetings and we all have to be on the same page no matter what, that’s all that matters.”
Crosby actually contracted coronavirus in the offseason, and he discussed how fortunate he was that it was not worse than it could have been:
“I didn’t feel terrible physically. My symptoms were pretty chill, but it sucked. We didn’t have any OTAs and I was in camp for, what, two days and then I had to miss half of camp just sitting at home and I couldn’t do anything. I hate making excuses at all, but it did affect my cardio at the beginning of the season. I felt like I was trying to catch up to everybody that was already at camp and (defensive line) coach (Rod) Marinelli’s individual work is deadly. It was tough, but it was what it was, just another training camp curveball. Last year, I broke my hand at the beginning of camp.”
Crosby has had a productive second season with the Raiders, racking up a team-leading six sacks to this point. His pressure along the edge has helped the Las Vegas defense out in key moments and hopefully he can continue to contribute down the stretch.
The Silver and Black are in the middle of the Wild Card hunt but should be able to take care of business in Week 12 against the Atlanta Falcons now that key defensive players like Clelin Ferrell and Lamarcus Joyner are back in the mix.
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