The Las Vegas Raiders underwent tests on Saturday to see if any players, coaches, or personnel had contracted COVID-19. The tests are standard prior to a big game, but Raiders fans are expressing concern for the team considering that New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton tested positive on Friday. The 2015 NFL MVP's last start prior to the positive test was against the Silver and Black.
According to Adam Schefter, Newton is the only player on the Patriots to test positive for coronavirus ahead of the now-postponed matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. The team is currently doing mass testing and is reportedly optimistic about the lack of spread. The Raiders, on the other hand, are waiting to see if any members of the team will test positive after coming into contact with Newton. Although the loss to the Patriots is not the only source of potential infections.
Photos and videos surfaced on Wednesday that showed multiple members of the Raiders at a charity dinner for the Darren Waller Foundation. Quarterback Derek Carr was on hand for the gala, as was tight end Jason Witten. Nathan Peterman, Foster Moreau, Derek Carrier, Zay Jones, Hunter Renfrow and Nevin Lawson all attended as well and helped raise more than $300,000 to aid young people dealing with drug and alcohol addiction. The goal of dinner drew praise, but all of the players faced criticism due to the lack of masks seen in the photos and videos.
With the news of Newton's positive test, there were multiple reactions. Some people blamed the Raiders for "infecting the quarterback" due to their fines for improper mask-wearing and a non-credentialed employee in the locker room. Others took a different approach and asked if any players had tested positive after tackling Newton during Sunday's loss. These proclamations and questions led to multiple arguments on social media — although some people joked about the Raiders' defense practicing social distancing during the game.
Whether the Raiders "infected" Newton has not been answered, nor will it likely be. For now, the NFL fans can only focus on possible outcomes. All of the players could test negative and set up a crucial game against the Buffalo Bills or multiple key contributors could test positive and miss the "must-win" battle in the desert. Defensive end Maxx Crosby, in particular, came into close contact with Newton by sacking him twice. However, the second-year defender previously tested positive during training camp and quarantined for a couple of weeks.