One of the Las Vegas Raiders‘ most exciting offensive weapons will reportedly suit up for the”Monday Night Football” showdown against the New Orleans Saints this evening, as Jon Gruden and Co. try to steal a win in their first game inside Allegiant Stadium. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Raiders rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III is expected to play against the Saints despite being listed as questionable with a knee injury.
The No. 12 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft led the Raiders in receiving yards with 55 on three catches in Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers, and also rushed two times for a total of 11 yards. In the first quarter last Sunday, Ruggs broke loose for a huge 45-yard gain which set the Raiders up at the one-yard line, and Josh Jacobs punched it in the very next play for their first touchdown of the season. Ruggs injured his knee during the second quarter but was able to play through the pain.
The box score may not necessarily show it, but Gruden tried several times to set the rookie up for success in his first NFL game. He was sent in motion often and also served as the primary long-ball target for Derek Carr. Him being available tonight is extremely important for the Raiders offense.
Ruggs was seen running routes in pregame warmups, and it didn’t look like his knee issue was affecting him in any way.
Ruggs was the first wideout selected in the 2020 NFL Draft and is expected to bring some serious speed to the offense. The former Alabama star ran the fourth-fastest 40-yard dash (4.27 seconds) in NFL Scouting Combine history in February. During his three seasons in Tuscaloosa, Ruggs caught 98 passes for 1,716 yards and 24 touchdowns.