HENDERSON, Nev. — The Las Vegas Raiders will activate seven of the 10 players from their reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, ESPN has learned. Those players will be eligible to suit up and play against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night at Allegiant Stadium as long as they continue to test negative.
Safety Johnathan Abram, defensive tackles Maliek Collins, Johnathan Hankins and Kendal Vickers, defensive end Arden Key and cornerback Isaiah Johnson were considered high-risk close contacts to defensive end Clelin Ferrell, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. But since the six players tested negative throughout the week, they will be elevated back to the 53-man active roster. Defensive end David Irving, meanwhile, will come off the practice squad/COVID-19 list, revert to the practice squad and then be elevated to the 53-man active roster.
Defensive back Lamarcus Joyner, who went on the list Tuesday, was activated from it on Friday.
The Raiders (6-3) handed the Chiefs (8-1) a 40-32 defeat at Arrowhead Stadium on Oct. 11, but Las Vegas defensive coordinator Paul Guenther lamented having so many players miss practice this week in advance of facing Kansas City again.
“I don’t know how we can beat these guys with a full lineup at practice, let alone three-fourths of your lineup not here all week,” Guenther said Thursday. “What don’t they have? We’re playing the world champs. What don’t they have? They have a great quarterback, great receivers, great tight ends, line is physical. And they’re coming off a bye, so it’s a daunting task.
“I know one thing, we’re going to show up at 5:20 and we’re going to give 100 percent, because that’s what we do. We’ll get these guys ready to play. Whoever is out there at 5:20, they’ll be ready to go.”