Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio will not have his top wide receiver, Michael Crabtree, on Sunday against the New York Giants and he is not happy.
Crabtree and Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib were suspended by the NFL for a fight turned into an all-out-brawl in Week 12. The suspensions were originally for two games, but on Tuesday it was reduced to one. Del Rio has every reason to be upset, but at least publicly that doesn’t appear to be directed at Crabtree.
“The league has to do what it has to do. I’ll do my job. My job is to coach the guys,” Del Rio said, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Gehlken. “I don’t have to like everything they do, and often I don’t. This would be an example of that.”
The Raiders could be without Crabtree and wide receiver Amari Cooper against the Giants. Cooper took a helmet-to-helmet shot from Broncos safety Darian Stewart and was momentarily motionless on the ground. Cooper is going through concussion protocol, and is also a dealing with a potential left high ankle sprain.
While the Giants are dealing with their own problems, most recently deciding to bench quarterback Eli Manning, the extremely winnable game for the Raiders is of the utmost importance. They are only one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West standings.
No matter how much internal drama the Giants are dealing with, and it’s a lot, every team in the NFL is significantly worse without their two top wide receivers.