The Silver and Black will be getting some much-needed rest after going 3-2 throughout their first five games going into their bye week.
It comes at a convenient time, as they come off a crucial 40-32 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Raiders will also have time to get guys healthy and back on the field after being plagued by early season injuries.
Coach Gruden usually isn't in favor of bye weeks considering the momentum they can potentially take away from a team. He feels that this however may be a rare occasion where the bye week can be beneficial to his team.
"I like to keep playing," said Coach Gruden Monday to the media. "I like to play doubleheaders, sometimes. But, it is part of the schedule, as you know. So, in some ways it will get Trent Brown an additional couple days to respond to his first game. We're hoping Richie Incognito can come back, obviously Maurice Hurst, Maliek Collins, Damon Arnette, Bryan Edwards. We got a lot of guys that are still on the mend. So, I'll take this bye week this year at this time."
The defensive secondary unit are at pace to be back to full strength coming out of the bye week. Johnathan Abram (shoulder), Lamarcus Joyner (ribs) and Nevin Lawson (ankle) have been playing banged up this season, along with rookie cornerback Damon Arnette who was placed on injury reserve after re-aggravating his thumb injury he sustained in training camp.
Defensive Backs Coach Jim O'Neil has loved the toughness and grit his secondary has shown so far this season and is anxious to see them get closer to being at full force.
"We look for tough guys that love to play," said Coach O'Neil on the mold of his secondary unit. "Some of those guys you're going to have to put them in straightjackets to keep them out of the game. They all want to be out there, they all are super competitive and we appreciate it. Anytime a guy puts his body on the line, if he's nicked up or he's injured, and he goes out there and finishes and tries to play, I think that's impressive."
Another player who's been playing banged up that's imperative to the success of the Raiders is star running back Josh Jacobs.
Jacobs is currently second in the league in rushing yards and leads the league in carries.
While Jacobs has been dealing with a lingering hip injury throughout the year, the Raiders offense is looking to get backup running back Devontae Booker more involved moving forward to keep No. 28 healthy. Booker has also been productive with the carries he's seen this season, running for 62 yards on seven carries in the win against the Chiefs.
"We knew all along we got a player who complemented our room extremely well," said Running Backs Coach Kirby Wilson of Booker. "We just had to figure out a way of, how do we implement him by at the same time keeping our best football player getting most of the work."
"We think we're on a really good pace right now to do that moving forward — it just took a little while to figure out as the positions coach."
If the Raiders can continue to get guys healthy and back on their feet during the bye week, they will definitely be trending upward moving forward the rest of the season.
Check out the Las Vegas Raiders' photo department's favorite images of the Silver and Black from September of the 2020 season.