The Raiders’ worldwide tour gets started in the preseason when they play a “home” exhibition against Green Bay in Canada.
The Raiders will be the first team to play games in three countries in one season; they also will play a “home” game in the regular season in London against Chicago on Oct. 6.
“We’ll treat it like a normal road game,” coach Jon Gruden said of the visit to Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Thursday night. “We have to respond to a tough schedule. We are going to fly a lot of hours this year and we are going to play home games in foreign countries. It doesn’t sound right, but that’s the facts.”
Gruden will likely rest most of his regulars for this game, including quarterback Derek Carr and star receiver Antonio Brown. Brown has yet to make his Oakland debut as he has dealt with frostbitten feet and a fight with the NFL over his banned helmet.
Thursday will be the third time the Packers have played a preseason game outside the United States. Green Bay defeated the Bills 35-3 in Toronto on Aug. 16, 1997, and beat Kansas City 27-24 in overtime in Tokyo on Aug. 2, 1998.
Coach Matt LaFleur is looking forward to seeing wide receiver Trevor Davis make his preseason debut. The fourth-year pro, also a kick return specialist, returned to practice Sunday after dealing with a neck stinger.
Davis had more than 700 yards as a kick returner in 2017 but missed most of 2018 with hamstring injuries.
“I kind of always feel like I have something to prove,” he said. “Even if I was a fifth- or sixth- or seventh-year (player), I mean, either way it doesn’t really matter to me. I approach it the same every day. I come out here to compete and not feel like anything’s solidified ever.”