On Thursday morning, Raiders offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele became sufficiently ill to get treatment at a Kansas City-area hospital. But the Raiders didn’t disclose that development, as required by league rules.
Then, 90 minutes before kickoff, Osemele appeared on the inactive list, and news of the illness emerged for the first time.
The NFL tells PFT that it has no comment on the situation. The same thing happened a year ago, when Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen became ill before a Sunday afternoon game with the Chiefs but the illness wasn’t revealed. The league reportedly planned to investigate the matter, but no resolution ever was reported or announced.
The dilemma for the league office in these situation arises from the importance of enforcing the rules on one hand and a desire on the other to not unnecessarily expose the fact that liberties were taken with rules aimed at eliminating a window of opportunity for gamblers to acquire inside information.
On Thursday, that window was wide open. Osemele was sick, and he was in jeopardy or not playing. At some point before the moment at which the Raiders were required to submit their list of inactive players, they decided he wouldn’t be able to play.
The information about Osemele, their most important offensive lineman, was there to be had. And the Chiefs, favored by three points, eventually covered the spread.
Now, fast forward by a few years and imagine the reaction if this had happened not with the Oakland Raiders but the Las Vegas Raiders.
If nothing else, it should give the owners something to chew on this week when they hear from the league office a report aimed at persuading them to give Oakland a chance to keep the team.