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Jon Gruden offers vote of confidence for Paul Guenther

Raiders coach Jon Gruden offered a vote of confidence for defensive coordinator Paul Guenther despite the unit’s continued struggles.

“I know he’s a good coach,” Gruden said on a video conference with reporters Monday. “I know the mistakes are very correctible and we’ll correct them.”

Guenther moved upstairs to the press box to call plays on Sunday from his usual spot on the sidelines.

The results were more of the same for a defense ranked in the bottom fourth of the league in most significant categories.

Las Vegas had one sack and didn’t force a turnover in a 30-23 loss to Buffalo.

The Raiders, who are allowing 30 points per game, have just four sacks and two forced turnovers through four games this season.

Guenther was among Gruden’s first hires when he returned to coaching for the 2018 season.

The Raiders were last in the league in yards per play allowed in 2018, improving to 26th last season. They are 25th in that category through four games in 2020.

Still no timetable on Trent Brown

Starting right tackle Trent Brown has missed the last three games after leaving the opener against Carolina with a calf injury.

Gruden said he is unsure whether Brown will be available for Sunday’s game at Kansas City.

“I don’t know about Trent,” he said. “We’re hoping so, we really are, but I can’t make any promises. We’ll have to wait and see until Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.”

Brown has already missed three games, which would have been the minimum had he been placed on injured reserve.

Starting left guard Richie Incognito is on injured reserve with an Achilles’ injury, but Gruden doesn’t necessarily believe missing 40 percent of the offensive line has been the biggest culprit in a stagnating run game the last few games.

“We’re running the ball pretty good,” he said. “We don’t get a lot of possessions. I think we’re last in the league in possessions. We’ve been behind the last couple of weeks, so we’ve been in the throw-it mode. (Josh) Jacobs is really good and teams try to stop Jacobs. I still think we’re doing some good things running the ball, but we have to be better.”

Running back Jalen Richard suffered an ankle injury Sunday that is still being evaluated, opening the door for Theo Riddick to get an opportunity.

“We only had four receivers up, so we tried to get more juice on the field in other spots,” Gruden said. “We’ve been adapting pretty much to who’s healthy and that’ll continue.”

Reddick was sent back to the practice squad on Monday, along with wide receiver Keelan Doss.

Hurst’s role expands

Maurice Hurst played a season-high 35 snaps on defense for the Raiders on Sunday, 10 more than Maliek Collins at defensive tackle.

Gruden said Collins got “nicked up” and is still being evaluated by the training staff.

“But Mo is playing well. He and Maliek will continue to get a lot of work inside,” Gruden said.

Collins played 25 snaps on Sunday.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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