From the latest Raiders news to updates on Kurt and Kyle Busch, here’s everything that happened last week in Las Vegas sports (Aug 8 – 14).
#7 Josh McDaniels shuts down trade rumors on Josh Jacobs
During the offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders made several moves at the running back position, prompting trade debates. Fans were even speculating about whether Josh Jacobs would be traded. This was fueled by the fact that the Raiders declined Jacobs’s fifth-year option and drafted two running backs during the offseason.
However, coach Josh McDaniels is firmly behind Jacobs and echoed that sentiment in a press conference. He outright stated that there was no possibility of Jacobs being traded to another team. He will likely share significant snaps with rookie running backs Zamir White and Kenyan Drake, however.
“We have a lot of confidence in J.J.,” McDaniels said during a press conference last week. “And, you know, he did well with his opportunities, which we hoped he would. “But no, we have no desire to do that at all.”
#6 Kurt Busch worries team owner
Kurt Busch hasn’t competed in a NASCAR Cup Series race in almost a month and got sidelined again Sunday at Richmond. The news comes a month after a violent crash at Pocono Raceway that saw his car hit the wall at a weird angle. It’s reported that Busch worked diligently to return last week but had a setback during a racing simulator session.
“Brain injury recovery doesn’t always take a linear path. Busch wrote in a tweet to his fans. “ I’ve been feeling well in my recovery, but this week I pushed to get my heart rate and body in a race simulation-type environment, and it’s clear I’m not ready to be back in the race car.”
After the news was announced, Denny Hamlin was asked during a press conference if he was worried about his driver, and he had a heartwarming answer for someone in his position. He admitted to being concerned about his driver’s health but wholly supportive of his decision to get back in the car at some point.
“It’s concerning for sure,” Hamlin said. “I’m mostly concerned for his health and not really for the race team. We want to give him all the time he needs. This proves he‘s doing right by his body and ensuring he’s back to 100%. Other drivers, maybe in the past, would have been able to get some tests passed and gone out there and raced. He wants to be 100%.”
#5 Robin Lehner to miss 2022-2023 NHL season due to hip injury
Robin Lehner fell victim to a slew of problems throughout the 2021-2022 season, one of which was a nagging hip injury. While Lehner tried to fight through the pain to help his team make the playoffs, he was eventually benched. This left the team without their star goalie and hurt their postseason chances.
The news worsened last week after the team announced Lehner would miss the 2022-2023 season due to hip surgery. Laurent Brossoit also underwent surgery earlier in the offseason and isn’t expected to be back for a while. This leaves Las Vegas with Logan Thompson and Michael Hutchinson, who now have a lot of pressure to perform.
#4 Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson is among the frontrunners for MVP honors
Will Las Vegas Aces small forward A’ja Wilson win MVP honors for the second time in her career? That is the question many are asking after NBC sports announced that Wilson was a front-runner for the honor. She is reportedly neck and neck with Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart in a battle for the top spot.
Kelsey Plum, Sabrina Ionescu, and Candace Parker are also in consideration for the honor but trailing the top two. The final decision will likely be announced at the end of the month and is still a toss-up. For example, Wilson sits with 19.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and two blocks per game, while Stewart averages 21.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. She also has a deadly 39.2 efficiency rating from behind the arc. Ladies and gentlemen, this is going to be a close one!
#3 Las Vegas Raiders sign veteran wide receiver Chris Lacey
The Las Vegas Raiders signed wide receiver Chris Lacey last week to bolster their depth at wide receiver. Based on his brief stats with the Detroit Lines, Lacy could be a solid secondary receiver, but only time will tell. His most significant upside seems to be his 20 yards per catch, which could be helpful to the Raiders.
At the end of the day, it does give Derek Carr someone to throw to if Hunter Renfrow and Davantae Adams are jammed up. He’s a suitable replacement for Zay Jones, who left for the Jacksonville Jaguars
The Raiders also cut receiver Jordan Veasy to make room for Lacy. Veasy joined the team at the beginning of the offseason but was cut due to reportedly not fitting their style.
#2 Kyle Busch climbs his way back to a top ten finish after early trouble
Las Vegas native Kyle Busch might be locked into the playoffs this fall, but his future remains uncertain amid contract talks. Reports indicate that JGR is struggling to find a sponsor for the #18 Toyota Camry, possibly leaving Busch without a ride. Busch was laser-focused on a good finish at Richmond despite high tensions due to contract talks.
While Busch was sent to the back of the pack after contact with Ross Chastain early in the race, he quietly recovered to finish 9th. Of course, he could have probably done much better if he didn’t have that contact with Chastain, but he still showed strength by climbing his way back up.
#1 Las Vegas Raiders top Minnesota Vikings 2-0
The Las Vegas Raiders are now 2-0 after knocking off the Minnesota Vikings in pre-season on Sunday night. While the Raiders’ defense didn’t fair as well as they did against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team did pull off a 26-20 victory. The Vikings didn’t reach the endzone until the third quarter of the game.
The defense was led by Darion Butler, who totaled three tackles and two assists. Amik Robertson and Darius Philips also racked up three tackles for the Black and Silver, showing some teeth in the process. Malcolm Koonce and Tashawn Bower even managed to rack up a sack each on the opposing offense!
Nick Mullens looked the most impressive on the Raiders’ offense after going 7 of 9 for 94 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s game. In some instances, Jarrett Stidham impressed as well but was held to under 70 yards. He did score a rushing touchdown during the game, though!
Next, the Las Vegas Raiders play the Miami Dolphins on August 20 at Hard Rock Stadium.