Raiders coach Jon Gruden does not have COVID-19, but his players were led to believe he did.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Raiders logged into a Zoom team meeting expecting to be addressed by Gruden, only to hear from assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia that Gruden was hospitalized with COVID-19.
That wasn’t true, but Gruden and the Raiders’ staff wanted to test how the players would react and prepare them for this most unpredictable of NFL seasons.
Whether such a move actually helps the Raiders prepare to expect the unexpected, or whether players merely tune out a coaching staff that lies to them, is open to debate. Gruden, however, apparently thinks that the prank can be part of his team’s effort to crush COVID-19 into the ground.