It already has been a rough season for the Las Vegas Raiders as coach Jon Gruden resigned in shame a few weeks ago – although the Raiders are 2-0 without Gruden and leading the AFC West at 5-2 overall. However, the team suffered another huge blow Tuesday with the news that leading receiver and 2020 first-round pick Henry Ruggs III was being charged with felony DUI resulting in death in the wake of a serious car accident early Tuesday morning in Las Vegas. The Raiders are 3-point favorites this Sunday at the New York Giants.
Henry Ruggs charged in fatal traffic accident
According to police, Ruggs’ Chevrolet Corvette collided into the rear of a Toyota Rav4, resulting in the death of the person inside the Toyota. Las Vegas Metro Police Department released details of the crash to the public:
“On November 2, at approximately 3:39 a.m., the LVMPD responded to a traffic collision near the intersection of South Rainbow Boulevard and South Spring Valley Parkway, involving a Chevrolet Corvette and a Toyota Rav4. Responding officers located the Toyota on fire. Fire department personnel responded and located a deceased victim inside the Toyota. The preliminary investigation indicates the front of the Chevrolet collided with the rear of the Toyota. The driver of the Chevrolet, identified as 22-year-old Henry Rugs III, remained on scene and showed signs of impairment. He was transported to UMC hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Ruggs will be charged with DUI resulting in death. This is an on-going investigation.”
Ruggs and a female passenger inside his Corvette were hospitalized with survivable injuries and Ruggs is expected to be OK. The law in Nevada states that a DUI resulting in death is a category “B” felony, which is the second-most severe level of felony in the state. The crime is punishable by a minimum of two years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years, with a fine between $2,000 and $5,000. The offense is also non-probational, meaning that if a person is convicted, they must go to prison.
The Raiders were on the bye last week and were to return to practice Wednesday ahead of visiting the Giants this Sunday.
Ruggs’ attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, said: “On behalf of our client Henry Ruggs III we are conducting our own investigation as of this writing and ask everyone to reserve judgment until all the facts are gathered.”
The Raiders chose Ruggs as the No. 12 overall pick in the 2020 draft out of Alabama. As a rookie he appeared in 13 games with 12 starts, totaling 26 receptions for 452 yards (17.4 avg.) with two TDs while adding nine carries for 49 rushing yards (5.4 avg.). Ruggs added seven kickoff returns for 141 yards (20.1 avg.).
This year, Ruggs had 24 catches for 469 yards and two TDs in seven games. He’s one of the NFL’s fastest receivers. Hunter Renfrow and Bryan Edwards are the other Raiders’ starting wideouts, while Zay Jones is listed as the No. 2 behind Ruggs on the Las Vegas depth chart.
“We are devastated by the loss of life and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family,” the Raiders said in a statement. “We are in the process of gathering information and will have no further comment at this time.”
Despite possibly losing Ruggs for at least the rest of this season, the Raiders didn’t acquire a receiver ahead of Tuesday’s NFL Trade Deadline. They get the Giants on a short week Sunday as New York lost at Kansas City on Monday, 20-17.
New York played the Chiefs without top running back Saquon Barkley and receiver Kenny Golladay and wideout Sterling Shepard suffered a quad injury in the second quarter and didn’t return. Shepard suffered a non-contact injury after planting his foot in the ground while trying to come back on a route. Before leaving, Shepard caught four of his team-high seven targets for 25 yards.