The Oakland Raiders veteran players were required to report to the team’s Napa Valley training complex by 12:00 p.m, Thursday. As the hours ticked by, players trickled in; former Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack, however, did not.
Friday afternoon, the team announced that Mack and offensive lineman Vadal Alexander had been placed on the reserve/did not report list. A lot has been made about whether or not No. 52 would make an appearance at training camp, and following practice, Head Coach Jon Gruden took a moment to field questions about his All-Pro defensive end.
“I’m coaching a team. I’m on the quarterback meetings, I’m going to go in there and install the plays and get ready for the next practice,” Gruden explained. “[General Manager] Reggie [McKenzie] will be able to update you on his situation. He’s been in contact with his representation and hopefully we get him in here soon. He’s an exciting player. He’s one of the best in football.”
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has said on several occasions that he never involves himself with another man’s business, and that was no different Thursday when he took the podium after Gruden.
“I think it’s fair to say that we would all love to have Khalil here,” Carr said. “If I tried to answer it politically correct and all those things, we all know that we want him back. I think everyone feels that in our whole building. We all know that when it comes to how things are done and all of that, I don’t go to that. I have been in contact with him. He’s my brother. We came in the same class. We’re going to leave together some day. I’m fully confident with where Khalil is at and where our team is at. Obviously, we want him back, but again I try not to step into that. He was over at the house and we didn’t talk about it one time. We played pool basketball and I dunked on him.”
While Mack might not be physically in attendance at training camp yet, we’ll see what unfolds in the coming weeks. Until that happens, though, Gruden and Carr are going to continue preparing for the season the only way they know how.