Smoky skies have prompted NFL to move games across map before


Even as some of their players donned masks to guard against smoke during practice Thursday, the Raiders remain confident the smoky skies above the East Bay won’t prevent them from playing the Los Angeles Chargers at the Coliseum on Sunday.

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, center, stretches out during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Alameda, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) 

But if that changes and the NFL and Raiders decide the air quality makes playing the game in Oakland unsafe, there is precedent to moving the game to another venue. During the catastrophic wild fires in San Diego in 2003, the poor air quality down south prompted the NFL to move the Chargers-Dolphins game to Arizona. Ironically, there was talk back then of Miami and San Diego playing in Oakland.

For the second consecutive day, the Raiders cut short their practice Thursday because of the air quality. Some of the Raiders even wore masks under their facemasks during practice.

“We continue to monitor air quality conditions in the Bay Area and are in close communication with both the Raiders and Chargers, as well as local authorities,” said NFL spokesman Michael Signora on Thursday. “At this point, the game remains scheduled for Sunday in Oakland.”

If conditions get worse over the skies in Oakland the next couple of days, options might include pushing the game back a day. The Raiders and Chargers have different bye weeks, so rescheduling later in the season wouldn’t appear to be among the possibilities.

What if the Raiders and Chargers needed a last-minute venue solution? What would the options be?



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