Raiders Players Share Their Thoughts On The Team's Scandals

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Ernesto Cova

The Las Vegas Raiders can't catch a break. They got off to a solid start of the season and were playing very good football on both ends of the field before off-sports scandals drew a lot of negative attention.

First, it was Jon Gruden's leaked racist and homophobic emails. Then, it was Henry Ruggs' involvement in a fatal car accident.

Notably, the team couldn't shake those distractions off during a tough 23-16 loss to the New York Giants to take their record to 5-3.

Hunter Renfrow Addresses Henry Ruggs' Situation

Raiders star Hunter Renfrow said the team can't let all that outside noise get through their skin, stating that they need to act like professionals and just deal with that.

"Things happen in your lives and you're still professional and do a great job," Renfrow told reporters, as per NFL.com. "Same thing with us. We can't let that affect us. No matter what it is. So, I wouldn't say it took too much. We just have to play better. I think, at the end of the day ... if we would have won today, we probably wouldn't have gotten a lot of these questions."

Darren Waller Talks Jon Gruden, Henry Ruggs

Tight end Darren Waller was on the same page. While heartbroken over Ruggs' situation and concerned about Gruden's firing, he says that the Raiders still have a job to do and need to focus on what happens on the field:

"Personally, it's definitely blown me back a bit," Waller said. "Coach Gruden was somebody who risked a chance to bring me in to give me a chance to play football again. Henry is somebody everybody liked, not just because he was the fastest person you've ever seen run on a field -- he was a good person, a respectful person, somebody you liked being around on a daily basis. It is shocking. It does hurt a little bit. All we can do is the best we can do to move forward and focus on football. Nobody asked for this, but at the same time, as far as training and resilience and adversity, I feel like we're getting the best practice and training you could get in that, so you've just got to move forward."

Mark Davis Says The Team Won't Abandon Ruggs

Even so, it's hard not to think about that kind of stuff. A life was lost at the hands of one of their teammates and that's not the kind of story that goes away soon. Also, Ruggs was a respected and beloved part of the locker room.

“It’s devastating,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said, as quoted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Obviously a loss of life … it’s just a tragedy.”

Davis said that, even though the team had to cut ties with Ruggs, they still will stand by him through this hard time:

“We released Henry Ruggs the football player,” Davis added. “Henry Ruggs is still a human being and Raider alumni and somebody that we want to help. We’ll be there for him.”

Raiders Need To Bounce Back Fast

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The Raiders have done plenty of good things on the gridiron this season, which is why they'll have to do their best to put these scandals in the rearview mirror.

They signed veteran wideout DeSean Jackson to fill in Ruggs' void for the remainder of the season. Then again, they'll need a better performance from Derek Carr if they want to have a chance going forward.

Carr completed just 30 of 46 passes for 296 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions against the Giants. He'll hope to get back on track for Sunday's divisional clash against the Chiefs.

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