As fires in Northern California’s wine country continue to smolder, air quality concerns in the Bay Area have the
"As far as I know, we're going up to Oakland," Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said Thursday before practice. "We're playing up there. I know they have fires up there and the air's polluted. But will it be clean by the time we play? I don't know."
Playing in Oakland still seems like the most realistic option despite conditions that had some Raiders players wearing masks over their mouths during their practice Thursday.
Moving the game is complicated for a number of reasons.
The game needs to be played in a NFL-equipped venue, one set up for the league's broadcasters and instant replay systems. The teams can't swap home games because the Galaxy have a match scheduled for Sunday at StubHub Center.
And, the teams can’t play on Monday night because the Raiders are already scheduled for a short week with a game against the
Options such as the
Moving games because of conditions isn’t wildly unprecedented. In 2003, fires in San Diego County forced the team to play Miami in Arizona. In 2014, a snowstorm moved a
Players discussed the possibility of playing in an alternate venue, though they insisted that chatter doesn't affect their preparation.
"It's not affecting me at all," Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa said.
The assumption by many is the NFL would have to announce a venue change by Friday morning at the latest.
"We're just getting ready to play in Oakland," Lynn said. "If they make us play somewhere else, we'll do that."
Momentum for first-round pick Mike Williams continues to build, as Lynn continued to say Williams' practice workload will increase. But Williams, who has been out with a lower back injury essentially since he was drafted No. 7, still hasn't been listed as a full participant in a practice.
His status for Sunday's game with the Raiders will be determined Friday, Lynn said.
"His role [in practice] is still limited," Lynn said. "The guy hasn't played football since January, so I'm not just going to throw him in there his first day in full pads."
If Williams can play against the Raiders, he won't be given a full workload.
"It would be a low snap count," Lynn said. "He's not ready to play a full game, I don't believe that. But we'll have a small role for him."
The Chargers' rushing defense, the NFL's worst, will get tested by one of the NFL's most physical runners of the last decade in