GLENDALE, Ariz. — What’s one sign you’ve made it in the NFL?
When all of your key starters don’t even bother to hit the field in the exhibition opener, which the Raiders lost 20-10 on Saturday night to the Arizona Cardinals.
Derek Carr suited up but never needed his helmet as only three offensive starters ever saw the field. Most of their starting defense was out there, as it should have been considering the work it needs, but Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin didn’t play.
Marshawn Lynch experienced an interesting night as he suited up for the Raiders for the first time. There was never a chance that he was going to play, but he did put on the pads for pre-game warmups.
And then, as shown in pictures posted by the Associated Press and USA Today Sports, Lynch chose to sit on an orange water cooler during the playing of the national anthem. He had left the locker room by the time it was open to the media, but coach Jack Del Rio said he spoke to Lynch after the game and it’s not an issue.
“He said, ‘This is something I’ve done for 11 years. It’s not a form of anything other than me being myself’,” Del Rio relayed. “I said, ‘Just so you understand how I feel, I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem, but I’m going to respect you as a man. You do your thing, OK?’ So that’s a non-issue for me.”
Also a non-issue for Del Rio is the Gareon Conley injury situation. Conley tweeted on Thursday that he doesn’t have shin splints, which ran counter to what general manager Reggie McKenzie said 11 days earlier. It appears to be a minor mix-up with Conley dealing with an injury to his shin, but not specifically shin splints.
“He’s doing everything we’re asking him,” Del Rio said. “He’s been a model teammate and he’s doing things exactly how he should be. He’s on the mend. We don’t talk about exactly what it is that’s going on. I know Reggie indicated that it was something and basically when he said that, he…