On Sunday, July 19th, NFL athletes took to social media to begin the #WeWantToPlay initiative. This decree, issued by many NFL stars, including Derek Carr, requesting proper procedures to begin. The Raiders are no different.
Things such as daily testing ( takes effect on July 20th). Also, positive test handling remains unknown at the time, concerning players. As fans watched the NBA report zero positive tests in the same week, many have seen hope the NFL copy that. Although it does not appear that the NFL will require a bubble town, it would certainly be nice to hear some sort of plan for the NFL in the near future, especially as training camp is scheduled to begin in less than two weeks.
Mark Davis, the owner of the Raiders, has recently announced that he would not be surprised if fans were not allowed in the stadium during the 2020 season. The general consensus is that fanless games would all but ruin any home-field advantage a team might have.
But, the Raiders may approach things differently. As a whole, the Raiders are a fairly young team. Most of their stars are in their second season, or earlier. Josh Jacobs, Maxx Crosby, and Henry Ruggs III are some of the most popular players on the team. While a defensive player like Crosby may enjoy the roar of the one and only Nation, Raider Nation, the offensive youngsters may see more success in empty stadiums.
While Derek Carr is approaching his seventh season in the NFL, he has had some rougher moments with his own fans. Perhaps this season could be a nice, mid-career restart, where home games might feel like a practice.
New Home, New Problem
Although Allegiant Stadium sitting empty most likely means thousands of Raiders fans will stay home. Sure, stadium sounds and prerecorded cheers will be pumped into the stadium, but this could be an unexpected positive to the season. Of course, the team wants to pack the stadium with nothing but Silver and Black, On the other hand, sacrifices must be made, and there is certainly a chance that it is not the worst thing in the world.
Eliminating the fan aspect eliminates a majority of the pressure rookies and young players would normally face. On the defensive end, it could be safe to assume that music and other noises will be played to simulate a full stadium, it would be hard to believe that sounds will be cranked up to their typical, real-life volume. The lack of fans sort of levels the playing field, but with an offense as volatile as the Raiders’, the lessened pressure on the offensive side will be incredibly beneficial.
Raiders Bright Side
Fans in seats or out, RaiderNation will hold strong regardless. Social media will exist during games. If fans cannot enter the stadium, the Nation will find other ways. With rumors of group livestreams circulating, we may be celebrating together in different ways.