Buccaneers confident game vs. Raiders will be played
As far as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are concerned, they will be taking the field in Las Vegas on Sunday no matter the start time.
Sunday’s game between the Buccaneers and the host Las Vegas Raiders was put in doubt this week after a COVID-19 outbreak among the home team. The Raiders’ entire offensive line was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list after offensive lineman Trent Brown was designated Wednesday as a potential risk.
The Raiders are coming off their bye week and the rest of the starting offensive line has not had any contact with Brown since Monday. It leaves the outside chance that at least some of the starters will be available if they clear testing Sunday morning following a full five-day quarantine.
As a precaution, the NFL moved the game out of prime time on Sunday, putting the Seattle Seahawks-Arizona Cardinals game under the lights. The Buccaneers (4-2) and the Raiders (3-2) now have a 4:05 p.m. EST start.
“As far as we know, everything is good to go at 4 o’clock Sunday,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said in advance of the team’s cross-country flight. “I think the guys love playing on Sunday night, so it’s a disappointment that way. But hey, we’ve got to play the game.”
If the game can’t be played Sunday, the NFL would try to reschedule it later in the season, or even move it back a few days.
“I don’t see it being moved (to another date) right now,” Arians said. “We’ll know more (Saturday) morning. Right now, we’re preparing like we’re playing on Sunday.”
With a game against a team that has struggled to follow NFL COVID-19 protocols and now has players on the COVID-19 list, Arians said he will stress to his team to follow COVID-19 guidelines as strictly as possible.
“I’m as confident as we can be,” he said about his players’ safety. “I haven’t decided yet – (and) it has nothing to do with sportsmanship – whether we will shake hands or embrace anything after the game. Just to be cautious.
“Playing the game is one thing, but the mingling and all that stuff after the ballgame – I’m going to have to talk to our guys. But, I don’t think we will do that, just to be safe.”
–Field Level Media