When Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell ended up on the list of inactives for Monday night’s game against the Ravens, it raised a few eyebrows.
The fourth overall pick in 2019, Ferrell had been clearly demoted to being a rotational player. Free-agent signee Yannick Ngakoue was slated to start opposite Maxx Crosby at defensive end. But Ferrell’s deactivation came as a surprise, in part because he didn’t have an injury status heading into the game.
Ferrell appeared on the injury report with a back issue. But he was a full participant in all three Week One practices.
However, when asked about Ferrell’s deactivation on Tuesday, head coach Jon Gruden mentioned Ferrell’s back as part of the reason he was in street clothes for Monday Night Football.
“He’s been having some back ailments,” Gruden said. “His time’s coming. He’ll return to the lineup probably this week. Hopefully he’s feeling better and can get back to his form that he had earlier last year and his rookie season.”
Given that Ferrell was a full participant in all three days of practice, it’s fair to call Ferrell a healthy scratch. And given the defensive end’s draft status, that’s a concern as he enters a critical third season.
It’s worth noting that the Raiders do have some recent history violating the league’s injury report policy. Back in 2018, the team was fined for not downgrading Kelechi Osemele to out even though he didn’t travel to a game.
In 26 career games, Ferrell has 6.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 18 quarterback hits, and a pair of forced fumbles.