Jon Gruden falls to 0-for-7 on challenges with absurd decision vs. Chargers

Someone should probably take away Jon Gruden's challenge flags. (Kevin Jairaj/USA Today)


Jon Gruden was 0-for-6 on challenges since the beginning of the season.

Make that 0-for-7.

The Oakland Raiders head coach decided to light another challenge flag on fire Thursday in the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Early in the first quarter, Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby hit Philip Rivers as he was passing. The ball fell incomplete before officials placed it to set up the next Chargers play.

As Rivers lined up under center, whistles blew — no play.

What was Gruden thinking?

Gruden had thrown the red challenge flag from the Raiders sideline. He thought the incomplete pass was a fumble. He was the only person in the stadium to reach that conclusion with the potential exception of whomever was talking into his headset.

Rivers’ arm was clearly moving forward on the play that saw the ball sail forward 15 yards. Nobody on the field jumped on the loose ball — because it wasn’t a loose ball.

No recovery, regardless

Even if officials reached the same bizarre conclusion that Gruden did that there was a fumble, there was nothing to be done about it. There was no recovery. Raiders cornerback Daryl Worley eventually picked up the ball and handed it to an official to set up the next play.

Fortunately for the Raiders, Erik Harris picked Rivers off on the next play.

It’s all just another day in the excitement that is Gruden’s Oakland Raiders.

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