Raiders' Maxx Crosby plays after stint in hospital Thursday

ByPaul Gutierrez ESPN logo
Monday, November 27, 2023

LAS VEGAS -- Maxx Crosby, who has been dealing with a knee injury since Week 2 but had not missed a defensive snap since Oct. 22, said he spent Thursday in an area hospital with "some real issues going on...all types of s---," including "some infections" that had him "down for the count for a few days."

The Las Vegas Raiders two-time Pro Bowl edge rusher would not go into more detail about his ailments but after becoming the first of 67 players to be listed as doubtful to play and still suit up this season, Crosby acknowledged he was "in a lot of f---ing pain" during the Raiders' 31-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday. Crosby recorded his fifth career sack of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the most by any player in the league.

Still, the sack was his lone tackle of the game, a season low for Crosby and his fewest since he had one tackle at the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving 2021.

He now has 11.5 sacks on the season as he and the Raiders (5-7) enter their much-needed bye week.

"I trained all year round to do this, give myself the opportunity to play 17 guaranteed games and if I can go, I'm going to go," he said. "You put everything into it. I played my ass off and everybody was out there playing their ass off. So, I just wanted to give our team a chance and...I didn't want come off [the field]. It's as simple as that."

Mahomes, a two-time and reigning NFL MVP, said Crosby is "at the top of the list" among pass rushers he's faced.

"He's a dog, man," said Mahomes, who threw for 298 yards on 27 of 34 passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

"The fact that he played today, it speaks to who he is, not because it's against us, but he wants to be out there for his teammates. That's the type of guys you want on your team, and I have a ton of respect for him. When people see us trash talking, I think that's just the competitors both of us are. I know every single time I go up against him, he's going to give everything he has and I'm going to do the same. It's going to be a great battle to the end."

Crosby referred to his 3rd quarter, third-down sack of Mahomes as an "out of body experience" on the field.

"I think I got f---ing triple-teamed on the play and somehow kept fighting, finding a way and made a play to help us get our offense another opportunity in a big moment," Crosby said. "So yeah, it was a big play the game."

Just not enough.

Not with Mahomes now 10-1 against the Raiders in his career and the Chiefs averaging 35.5 games against the Raiders in those games.

"He's the best in the game and we go against each other twice a year," Crosby said of Mahomes. "We have our back and forths and things like that, but at the end of the day, it's respect when you see another great one across from you. Every time, he brings the best out of me and vice versa. So, I've got a ton of love for him, regardless. That doesn't change how I'm approaching him, trying to hunt his ass down every time I go out there. But he knows that, and he respects it and it goes both ways.

"They're the defending champs, so you've got to be on point from start to finish. Can't just be the first quarter. We talked about starting fast, but you've got to finish faster. You've got to keep your foot on the gas at all times, and they've got the best quarterback in the world so you can't lay off the gas whatsoever."

The bye week should allow Crosby to heal for the Raiders' final five games of the regular season, a stretch that includes three home games but also a Christmas Day game at Kansas City.

Crosby, whose battle for sobriety is well-documented as he has been sober since March of 2021, obviously hopes to be closer to full health by then.

"Things happen in life," Crosby said. "I've been through a lot, in general. Some people have their opinions, think I'm crazy, but I know I'm crazy. So, it's fun, I love it."