That’s one way to scare your players straight.
The Las Vegas Raiders did their part to drive home the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported the Raiders had assistant head coach Rich Bisaccia replace Jon Gruden on a Zoom call with players. The team said Gruden had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Wednesday on Inside Training Camp Live that players logged into a virtual meeting expecting to be greeted by head coach Jon Gruden only to see assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Rick Bisaccia instead. Bisaccia then informed the team that Gruden had tested positive for COVID-19 and currently was in the hospital.
Only Gruden had not tested positive and was not in the hospital.
“It wasn’t a joke,” Garafolo explained. “What it was was the team illustrating to the players that this could happen at any moment to anybody.”
Garafolo added: “So, the point to the players was you’ve got to stay ready. Everybody has got to stay ready because this virus that Gruden himself said they want to crush could pop up and it doesn’t discriminate. So this is something we could face some point in the season whether it’s our head coach, our starting quarterback, whatever.”
Gruden had obviously not tested positive, and was not in the hospital with COVID-19.
The Raiders’ tactics were a bit strange, but it seems Gruden’s heart was in the right place.
At the very least they learned a lesson.