Wide receiver Henry Ruggs III will miss the Chargers game Thursday night on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Raiders rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list Tuesday, which means he won’t be facing the Los Angeles Chargers.
Ruggs didn’t practice, nor did fellow rookie wide receiver Bryan Edwards, who was held out for precautionary reasons as Ruggs’ situation came to light. Edwards, however, is expected to practice Wednesday and be available to face the the Chargers Thursday night at Allegiant Stadium.
It had been a good run for the Raiders regarding the virus, with no one on the 53-man roster affected since Trent Brown came off the list on Dec. 2.
Ruggs, the No. 12 overall pick out of Alabama, has 23 catches for 414 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 18.0 yards per catch. While he’s been outperformed statistically by other rookie wide receivers, Ruggs helped deliver a 40-32 win over the Kansas City Chiefs with two catches for 118 yards and a 72-yard touchdown and caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr against an all-out blitz with five seconds left to beat the New York Jets 31-28.
In the Raiders’ 44-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Ruggs had three catches for 18 yards.
It will be the second game Ruggs has missed, as he sat out a Week 3 loss to Buffalo with a knee injury.
With Ruggs out, the Raiders will look to Hunter Renfrow, Edwards and Zay Jones and can also compensate by flexing tighte end Darren Waller and getting more work for Foster Moreau and Jason Witten at tight end. Wide receiver Marcel Ateman was also re-signed to the practice squad after being released five days ago.
McKinley off I.R., Beasley back on roster
Edge rusher Takk McKinley was actiavted to the 53-man roster after missing the requisite three games on injured reserve and presumably will make his Raiders debut against the Chargers. The Raiders also signed Vic Beasley to the 53-man roster a day after he’d been restored to the practice squad.
McKinley, who played at UCLA by way of Kennedy-Richmond High, was claimed off waivers Nov. 23 and placed on injured reserve four days later to rehab a groin injury. He had also been claimed by Cincinnati and the 49ers after being cut by Atlanta, both of which released him when he didn’t pass the physical.
Former Falcons’ edge rusher Takk McKinley is available to the Raiders Thursday night. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
Since coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock liked McKinley as a prospect coming out of college, they opted to place him on I.R. in hopes of getting him back before the end of the season.
Gruden has talked of McKinley potentially being part of the Raiders’ future. Since his original four-year contract with the Falcons expires after this season, McKinley is essentially auditioning for a free agent deal with the Raiders or another team.
Beasley was signed to the practice squad the same day McKinley was claimed. He was activated in each of the last two games, playing eight snaps against the Jets and 24 against the Colts with one tackle.
Having Beasley back on the roster is an indication second-year defensive end Clelin Ferrell could miss the Chargers game. Ferrell left the Colts game after seven snaps with an injured shoulder, did not return, and did not practice Tuesday.
Cornerback Damon Arnette, Johnathan Abram and linebacker Nicholas Morrow missed their second day of practice in concussion protocol, which makes it possible they won’t be cleared in time for a Thursday night game.
Cornerback Daryl Worley, who was signed on Dec. 9 after being waived by Buffalo, will be available to face the Chargers along with starter Travyon Mullen, Nevin Lawson, Isaiah Johnson and Keisean Nixon. Worley was a Raiders starter in 2018 and 2019 and can play both corner and safety.
Morrow has been one of the Raiders top defenders in a fulltime role after Cory Littleton went on the COVID-19 list and missed games against Kansas City. Littleton could resume fulltime play along with middle linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski if Morrow can’t play.