HENDERSON, Nev. – Las Vegas Raiders right tackle Trent Brown, the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history who has also been limited to three snaps this season because of a a calf injury, said he will be a “game-time decision” to play Sunday at the Kansas City Chiefs (1 p.m. ET, CBS).
His return would be a boon for the run game of the Raiders, who have lost seven straight games at Kansas City, last had Brown on the field in the season opener and have used three other players at right tackle in his absence.
“I’ve got to work with the trainers after we travel, see what’s going on,” Brown said Friday in his first media availability of the season.
“I feel OK, but as you know, being up there in the air, a lot of inflammation sets in and swelling so we’ll see what’s going on Sunday.”
Raiders coach Jon Gruden also held out hope that rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III, who has missed the last two games with knee and hamstring issues, and defensive tackle Maliek Collins, who is battling a banged-up shoulder, can suit up in Kansas City.
Especially since defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is staying home having gone on the COVID-19 list this week.
“We don’t have a lot of alternatives, we don’t have a lot of choices,” Gruden said. “We’re already using a lot of different players. We’re going to play guys that are healthy and ready to go. We’re not going to put anybody in harm’s way. But we’re playing the Kansas City Chiefs. So, if you’re able to play, we’re going to suit up the best men that we can.”
As noted by Associated Press, Brown has played at least 10 snaps in 10 of the 20 games the Raiders have played since Brown signed a four-year, $66 million free-agent deal with $36.75 million guaranteed in the spring of 2019, the richest contract for an offensive lineman in league history.
Brown was selected to his first Pro Bowl last season, despite missing the last five games of the season with a pectoral injury.
He seldom practiced in training camp and drew harsh criticism from fans, who questioned his desire.
“I don’t live for nobody’s compliments,” Brown said. “I’m not going to die by their criticisms. I’m a man, first and foremost. I didn’t get this far by listening to all that naysay and doubters. I just come to work and do my job every day. I’m not the only one around the league that’s injured. They should really just be happy it’s not as serious as some of the other ones.”
The 6-foot-8, 380-pound Brown said he hurt his calf on the first play of the first game and tried to get it to loosen up, to no avail.
“Got an MRI, it was pretty bad,” Brown said. “That’s why I’ve missed the amount of time that I have.”
The Raiders are 2-2 and riding a two-game losing streak and have their bye week following the Chiefs game.
“I think that’s the beauty of our room – just the fact that everybody can play multiple positions,” Brown said. “We’re a bunch of selfless guys that would do whatever it takes to help the team win.”