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Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders Preview and Predictions 09-09-2019
Antonio Brown delivered an emotional apology to his Oakland Raiders teammates and the club decided to change course and allow him to make his club debut in Monday night's season opener against the Denver Broncos. It appeared Brown's antics - the latest a heated exchange this week with Oakland general manager Mike Mayock - would land him a suspension, but the Raiders decided to give the volatile wide receiver at least one more chance.
"That's the plan," Oakland coach Jon Gruden told reporters Friday about Brown playing. " ... We're really excited about that. We're ready to move on. He's had a lot of, obviously, time to think about things. We're happy to have him back. I know Raider Nation is excited about that, too." Brown suffered frostbite on his feet during a cryotherapy treatment that kept him off the field early in training camp and also made news in August when he refused to wear a new helmet even though the NFL mandated that all players must use a newer, approved model. The Raiders, who will move to Las Vegas after this season, and the Broncos are projected to battle for last place in the AFC West as the Joe Flacco era begins in Denver. "Listen, I feel like I've got a lot left in the tank and I feel like I can do a lot more than what I've really shown over the course of my 11-year career," Flacco told reporters. "So, I'm excited that I'm going to have the opportunity here to do that."
TV: 10:20 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Broncos -1. O/U: 43
ABOUT THE BRONCOS (2018: 6-10, THIRD IN AFC WEST): Flacco, who lost his job in Baltimore last season to Lamar Jackson, needs 1,755 passing yards to reach 40,000 in his career. Running back Phillip Lindsay, who rushed for 1,037 yards as an undrafted rookie last season, is completely healed from a broken wrist that forced him to miss the final game of 2018. Denver's defense boasts a pair of powerful pass rushers in Von Miller (14.5 sacks last season, 98 career) and Bradley Chubb (12 as a rookie in 2018), and top cornerback Chris Harris - the only player in the league with multiple interceptions over the last seven seasons.
ABOUT THE RAIDERS (2018: 4-12, LAST IN AFC WEST): Brown's 686 receptions and 9,145 yards since 2013 are the most in NFL history for a six-year period and his 74 touchdowns since entering the league in 2010 lead all active players. Oakland selected running back Josh Jacobs with the 24th overall pick and hope the former Alabama star can improve a ground game that was 25th in the league in each of the last two seasons while taking pressure off quarterback Derek Carr. Tahir Whitehead is one of seven linebackers in the league with five or more interceptions (five) and 30 or more tackles for loss (32) since 2014.
1. The Broncos have won 499 games - playoffs included - and seven straight season openers, which is the NFL's longest active streak. Denver also owns the league's highest Week 1 winning percentage at .672 (39-19-1).
2. The Raiders yielded an NFL-most 29.2 points per game last season.
3. Oakland leads the series 64-53-2. The home team has won the last six meetings.
News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
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Las Vegas Raiders
- KneeDoub Sun | doubtful
Ruggs III was absent from the lineup during the last game due with injuries to his left knee and hamstring. It is unlikely that he will participate in Sunday's matchup versus the Bills.
- HamstringQues Sun | questionable
Gafford left the previous game due to a hamstring injury, and his status for Sunday's contest versus the Bills is in question.
- FootQues Sun | questionable
Ross was lifted from the previous game with a foot injury, and it has yet to be established if he will play against the Bills on Sunday.
- PectoralQues Sun | questionable
Kwiatkoski has sat out the previous two games with a pectoral injury, it is unknown if he will return against the Bills on Sunday.
- GroinQues Sun | questionable
Young has missed the past two games due to a groin injury, and it is unclear if he will line up Sunday against the Bills.
- ThumbEarly Nov | out
Arnette is sidelined with a fractured right thumb and is facing a six to eight-week absence.
- AnkleOut Sun | out
Edwards departed the last game due to a right ankle sprain, and he will not take the field Sunday against the Bills.
- CalfQues Sun | questionable
Brown has been held out of the last two games with a calf injury, and it is uncertain if he will draw back into the lineup Sunday versus the Bills.
- NeckDoub Thurs | doubtful
Flacco has been activated from the PUP list while recuperating from a disc repair surgery in his neck. He is unlikely to make his season debut Thursday against the Broncos.
- WristProb Thurs | probable
Marshall is hampered by a wrist injury, but he is projected to be in Thursday's lineup versus the Jets.
- ShinOut indefinitely | I-R
Wilkinson has been ticketed for the injured reserve list due to a shin injury, and it is unknown when he will come back.
- ToeDoub Thurs | doubtful
Lindsay is sidelined due to turf toe, and he is not expected to return to action against the Jets on Thursday.
- AnkleProb Thurs | probable
Okwuegbunam has missed the past three games due to an ankle injury, but he is likely to make his season debut Thursday versus the Jets.
- HamstringQues Thurs | questionable
Harris sat out the previous game due to a hamstring injury, and it is up in the air if he will take the field against the Jets on Thursday.
- BicepI-R | I-R
Casey has been entered on the injured reserve list due to a biceps tear.
- WristProb Thurs | probable
Callahan is dealing with a wrist injury, but he is likely to suit up against the Jets on Thursday.