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Paul Gutierrez ESPN Staff Writer 

Raiders coach Jon Gruden casually dropped that he has "had the virus" when asked about not wearing a mask at times on the sidelines during his Zoom call. "I'm doing my best," he said. "I've had the virus. I'm doing my best. I'm very sensitive about it...I'm calling plays. I just wanna communicate in these situations and if I get fined I'll have to pay the fine but I'm very sensitive about that and I apologize." There was no opportunity to follow up as his presser ended.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Drew Brees' inaccuracy will be the headliner tonight because it's so uncharacteristic. But it's a long line of hideous issues hurting the Saints. Their defense has collapsed since late in the second quarter. And for the second straight week, they lead the NFL in penalty yards.

Jenna Laine ESPN Staff Writer 

In his Westwood One interview with Jim Gray Monday, Tom Brady said of his free agency experience, "It was my first time in free agency. I think there's a lot of things that transpired over that course of time and a lot of difficult decisions that were made, but I'm so happy I wound up with the Bucs. It's just been an amazing six months for my family being here and getting to work. I'll probably never be a free agent again. But it felt nice to be wanted..."

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saints' first turnover of the season was an ugly one -- an interception by Drew Brees right into the arms of Nick Morrow with less than two minutes remaining in the first half. Brees had started to find a rhythm over the past two drives but threw his worst pass of the season to date there.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints TE Jared Cook had a decent start to his career -- but he had just 19 TD catches in his first nine seasons. Now he has 16 in his last 29 games with the Raiders in 2018 and the Saints in 2019-2020. He and Drew Brees have really developed a nice connection since both of them got healthy during the second half of last season.

Lindsey Thiry ESPN 

Sean McVay provided an injury update Monday: RB Malcolm Brown underwent a procedure to fix a fractured pinky and will be available Sunday against the Bills. RB Cam Akers has separated rib cartilage and is considered day-to-day. LG Joe Noteboom suffered a calf strain and will be OUT Sunday, with the possibility of being place on the three-week injured reserve. David Edwards will start in Noteboom's absence. CB Darious Williams has tendinitis in his achilles, but is expected to play Sunday.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

That new contract extension the Saints signed with Alvin Kamara before the season started continues to pay dividends. He now has three TDs in the first five quarters of the season -- and had another TD called back by a couple inches last week. Seems like he might be more on pace for the 14 TDs he scored as a rookie and the 18 TDs he scored last year instead of the 6 he had during an injury-plagued 2019 season.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

A subplot that hasn't gotten much attention this week: Former Raiders coach Dennis Allen has become one of the league's most successful defensive coordinators in New Orleans during the last 4 years -- big reason they've gone 11-5, 13-3, 13-3, 1-0.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Drew Brees' custom Monday Night Football cleats are "historic" to say the least, courtesy of artist Soles By Sir.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Biggest thing to watch tonight: How does the Saints' offense look without WR Michael Thomas for the first time in four years -- especially after Drew Brees threw for just 160 yards in last week's win over Tampa Bay and Brees and coach Sean Payton both described themselves as "awful"? Second-biggest thing to watch: Can Saints' defense extend its NFL-best streak to 45 straight games without allowing a 100-yard rusher against Raiders workhorse Josh Jacobs?

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saints' top two draft picks (1st-round G/C Cesar Ruiz and 3rd-round LB Zack Baun) are active for the first time tonight. They also promoted WR Bennie Fowler and DL Margus Hunt from the practice squad for the second week in a row. New Orleans' inactives are WR Michael Thomas (ankle), DE Marcus Davenport (elbow), S DJ Swearinger, DT Shy Tuttle, LB Chase Hansen, RB Dwayne Washington and G/C Will Clapp.

Paul Gutierrez ESPN Staff Writer 

Raiders inactives vs. Saints: RT Trent Brown, MLB Nick Kwiatkoski, OT Sam Young, WR Rico Gafford, CB Amik Robertson, DT Daniel Ross.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike McCarthy did not have an update on Tyron Smith's ability to practice this week after missing the Atlanta game with a neck injury, but he said the tackle is improving. DeMarcus Lawrence is dealing with a knee injury that occurred in the first half. Chidobe Awuzie has a hamstring strain. The coach did not have a report on their availability for practice yet.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is ready to take his game up a notch after losing running back Christian McCaffrey. He's also confident Mike Davis can elevate his game as McCaffrey's replacement.

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Jenna Laine ESPN Staff Writer 

The Bucs have waived cornerback Mazzi Wilkins after calling him up from the practice squad for Sunday's game against the Panthers. He did not play on defense but did play eight snaps on special teams. Not a surprise and relatively procedural. He'll be back.

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

Washington guard Brandon Scherff will miss three to five weeks with a sprained right MCL, a source confirmed. Coach Ron Rivera had said on his zoom presser Monday that they had received good news about Scherff, but that he would still miss time. The NFL Network first reported the full details. Wes Schweitzer will replace Scherff, as he did Sunday. Schweitzer has made 36 career starts.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

QB Sam Darnold isn't the fiery type, but he sent a message today in a conference call with reporters. On the topic of leadership, he said, "It's clear who the leaders are on this team. Everyone is a leader in some aspect. Whenever anyone talks on this team, everyone listens. I think for us right now we need to do less talking and more acting." He mentioned practicing well, being attentive in meetings and "just understanding our job on every single play."