FILE - Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III walks on the field before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Oct. 10, 2021, in Las Vegas. Police in Las Vegas said Ruggs is facing a driving under the influence charge after a fiery vehicle crash early Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, that left a woman dead and Ruggs and his female passenger injured. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

Raiders Dealing with Ruggs situation

FILE – Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III in action against the Denver Broncos during an NFL football game, Oct. 17, 2021, in Denver. Police in Las Vegas said Ruggs is facing a driving under the influence charge after a fiery vehicle crash early Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, that left a woman dead and Ruggs and his female passenger injured. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

The Las Vegas Raiders are in first place in a tough AFC West Division, where all four teams are .500 or better. Coming off two consecutive wins and fresh off of a bye, the Raiders were looking forward to this Sunday’s game against the New York Giants as a good opportunity to improve to 6-2.

Now, none of that is the focus anymore as the team is embroiled in an unfortunate and tragic situation. Wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was released Tuesday night after being involved in a fatal car accident early that morning in Las Vegas. Ruggs was reportedly traveling at 156 mph with a blood alcohol level twice above the legal limit. This was just prior to Ruggs rear-ending another car, resulting in the death of Tina Tintor inside.

Ruggs made his initial court appearance on Wednesday. He remained seated in a wheelchair, sporting a foam brace on his neck. His NFL career is now in question. In Nevada, a charge for DUI resulting in death carries a possible sentence of two to twenty years in state prison.

The Raiders’ Response

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr shared his personal emotions on the situation. “Football is secondary when something like this happens,” Carr said. Noticeably dejected while speaking to the media, Carr stated his heart goes out to the families affected by the situation.

Meanwhile, Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia gave similar comments. Opening his press conference on Wednesday, he stated, “We want to express our sincere condolences to the victim’s family. A person lost their life yesterday morning, and we think it’s important to keep focus on that as we talk about this tragic event.” Bisaccia added that while the team loves Ruggs, “his terrible lapse in judgement” is something that the former Raider will have to live with.

The Ruggs news comes just weeks after Jon Gruden stepped down as head coach. Emails showing Gruden using racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language were leaked, leading to his resignation. These two tough situations both affecting the Raiders in under a month is not lost on the team. Carr shared to the media that the tough year the Raiders have faced as a team has been noted in the locker room.

Trying to Move Forward

Off the field, there’s a lot of noise. However, the Raiders will look to focus on the field for at least a few hours on Sunday. The team will look to notch their 6th win of the season as they travel to MetLife Stadium. They face a floundering 2-6 Giants squad that ranks in the bottom 10 in both points scored and points allowed. Carr aims to lead Las Vegas to a win despite all the noise and distractions the Raiders are dealing with. “From a football aspect,” the team will be ready to go, Carr said.

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