Training camp goes up a notch for the Raiders on Wednesday, but the team’s biggest free-agency arrival won’t be there for it.
As noted by Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, receiver Antonio Brown remains absent as the Raiders welcome the Rams for two days of joint practice. It will be the eighth practice that Brown has missed, due to feet that were frozen by entering a cryotherapy chamber without proper footwear.
“It’s good to go against a different scheme,” quarterback Derek Carr said regarding the joint practices, via Gehlken. “I really enjoy it and especially when it’s two really professional teams that aren’t trying to prove their manhood or prove their toughness to each other. Obviously, football is a physical game, but when there are just fights and brawls, I think that’s pointless.”
Five years ago, during Carr’s rookie season, the Raiders and Cowboys got into a knock-down-drag-out fight during training camp at Oxnard, California. The following year, the Rams and Cowboys rumbled in Oxnard. Raiders coach Jon Gruden and Rams coach Sean McVay, who worked together in Tampa and who remain good friends, surely will try to avoid any joint-practice ugliness.
The Raiders and Rams will meet in a preseason game on Saturday night in Oakland. Brown surely won’t be playing. Although his condition has been downplayed by the Raiders, it’s clear that it’s not minor. At some point, the Raiders need to start worrying about whether he’ll be available for Week One — and if so whether he’ll be effective.