After being granted a personal day Wednesday and missing practice in the wake of the Jon Gruden controversy, which included past emails that revealed several anti-gay slurs, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib returned and was a full participant at team workouts Thursday.
Nassib, who became the first openly gay active NFL player when he made the announcement in June, was given the day off Wednesday, with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock telling reporters that Nassib “said he’s got a lot to process” amid the scandal that led to Gruden’s resignation Monday.
Among the email messages the Wall Street Journal and New York Times published over the past week was a reference to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that included an anti-gay slur. Gruden used a different slur while writing about Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team. Sam was selected by the then-St. Louis Rams in the seventh round in 2014 but never played a regular-season game in the league.
“He’s pretty much a lone wolf when it comes to that,” Raiders tight end Darren Waller said of Nassib Wednesday. “Nobody should be able to tell him how to feel. Nobody should be able to tell him how to grieve. He deserves to take time for himself because that’s a lot to process.”
Among other Raiders Thursday, running back Josh Jacobs did not practice because of an undisclosed illness. Defensive tackles Johnathan Hankins (hip) and Quinton Jefferson (back) also spent the day on the sidelines. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (rest, knee) and safety Johnathan Abram (shoulder, calf) were among those who practiced on a limited basis.
The 3-2 Raiders visit the 3-2 Denver Broncos on Sunday, with both teams entering on two-game losing streaks.
–Field Level Media