Las Vegas Raiders rookie cornerback Nate Hobbs was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of DUI early Monday morning, hours after the team returned from a last-second victory at the Indianapolis Colts that kept its playoff hopes alive.
The arrest of Hobbs, 22, comes two months and one day after receiver Henry Ruggs III was involved in a fiery high-speed car crash that claimed the life of a 23-year-old woman and her dog and has Ruggs facing up to 50 years in prison on felony DUI and reckless driving charges. It also comes one day shy of a year from when running back Josh Jacobs was arrested on a DUI charge after a single-vehicle collision near the airport in Las Vegas.
According to a news release from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, “at approximately 4:09 a.m., LVMPD Dispatch received a call reference a driver asleep inside of a vehicle, which was parked on the exit ramp of a parking garage located in the 3500 block of South Las Vegas Boulevard. Arriving officers made contact with the driver, identified as 22-year-old Nathan Hobbs. He was given FST’s (field sobriety test) by patrol and failed. He was transported to the Clark County Detention Center where he was booked for DUI (misdemeanor).”
The Raiders put out a statement saying they were “aware” of the incident.
“The organization has been in communication with local law enforcement and is in the process of gathering more information,” the statement read. “We will have no further comment at this time.”
Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia, meanwhile, was asked in his weekly media conference if alcohol and decision-making had been a point of emphasis to the team, given the recent history.
“I feel good about saying they’ve been hit over the face with distractions and things of that nature,” a frustrated Bisaccia said. “We’re very cognizant of the city in which we live in, so I’ll leave it at that and we’ll see what it looks like at the end of the week.”
Hobbs, a fifth-round draft pick out of Illinois, has been a revelation for the Raiders as a nickel cornerback and is a candidate for many all-rookie teams with an interception, two passes defended, a forced fumble and a sack among his 67 tackles, which rank fourth on the team, in 15 games.
The Raiders (9-7) clinched their first winning season since 2016 with the 23-20 win at the Colts and host the Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) on Sunday night at Allegiant Stadium. They can clinch their second playoff berth since 2002 with a win over the Chargers, but can also back in with a loss if the Colts lose at the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Pittsburgh Steelers lose either against the Cleveland Browns on Monday night or against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Strangely, both the Raiders and Chargers could get in with a tie, provided the Colts lose at Jacksonville.
Bisaccia was also asked how the Raiders might not let the Hobbs situation be a distraction given how the team has already dealt with the sudden early-season resignation of coach Jon Gruden in the wake of his email scandal, the Ruggs wreck and cornerback Damon Arnette being cut after video of him making death threats while brandishing firearms went viral.
“As far as the distractions go, we’ve kind of learned how to deal with distractions around here,” Bisaccia said. “We’re certainly disappointed in the news. I don’t have all the facts yet. I’ll be able to comment, I would think, as the end of the week comes, when I get more information about what’s going to actually happen with that.”
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