It’s already an unusual set of circumstances for the Raiders and the Broncos as they are working with a short week due to the game being slated for Thursday Night Football.
For Oakland, preparing for the Week 14 game is a challenge for another reason. On Monday night, Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen lost his father. Allen hasn’t been with the team yet this week, but plans to return to the Raiders facilities on Wednesday.
Defensive Coordinator Jason Tarver spoke with Denver media on Monday.
“He’s even a better person than a coach,” Tarver said of Allen. “He’s such a great man that all of us feel for him. We didn’t get to see all of that great relationship between him and his dad, but it’s a great relationship. Our hearts definitely go out to the whole Allen family.”
Players and coaches on the Broncos side have sent their thoughts and prayers as well.
While Allen hasn’t been present on the practice field to help the team prepare for Thursday night, Tarver and Offensive Coordinator Greg Knapp are using a plan that was created with Allen’s help.
“Most of the schedule and practice and everything – the timing of everything that we’re doing had already been set by Coach Allen,” Tarver said. “Dennis and our staff had researched the Thursday night week in the offseason and set kind of how we wanted to do this. Dennis set it ahead of time, so we’re really using the schedule that Coach Allen put together.”
It’s a difficult situation for coaches and players on the Raiders, but cornerback Michael Huff hopes the team will be motivated to earn a victory for its coach.
“We know we have to go ahead and mourn but still go out there and play well,” Huff said. “I say, get this victory for him.”