ANALYSIS: Former Raiders wideout Henry Ruggs III causes more turmoil for Raiders organization


Photo credit/ By Pete Sheffield - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Henry Ruggs III was the 12th pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Just when the Las Vegas Raiders seemed to be moving forward after head coach Jon Gruden’s resignation, a tragedy is testing the team further.

Leading wideout Henry Ruggs III was charged on November 3 with two counts of driving under the influence (DUI) and reckless driving, as well as possession of a firearm while under the influence following an accident overnight November 2 that killed 23-year-old Tina O. Tintor and her dog. Prosecutors in Nevada’s Clark County say computer records show Ruggs was driving at 156 miles an hour while driving with a blood-alcohol content twice Nevada’s legal limit.

The Las Vegas Raiders released Ruggs just hours after the crash. Ruggs sustained injuries from the crash, though the extent of the injuries were not revealed. Ruggs appeared in court seated in a wheelchair, a neck brace on his neck, and scars on his face. The Associated Press reported that Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said outside court that he believed that Ruggs suffered a leg injury as well. Ruggs’s girlfriend, identified as Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, was also in his car during the crash and had surgery for a severe arm injury.

Ruggs was released on a $150,000 bail on the evening of November 3 but is due in court November 10. According to the Associated Press, Ruggs will go to court on pending felony charges and will not have an opportunity for probation. In the state of Nevada, a conviction of DUI causing death or causing substantial injury results in an ineligibility for probation. DUI charges and the reckless driving charge could have Ruggs facing up to 46 years in prison.

The Raiders organization originally issued a statement on November 2, “The Raiders are aware of an accident involving Henry Ruggs III that occurred this morning in Las Vegas. We are devastated by the loss of life and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family. We are in the process of gathering information and will have no further comment at this time.”

The NFL also released a statement saying, “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim of this horrific tragedy. We will continue to gather facts and monitor the matter under our policies, but our thoughts at this time are with those impacted by this devastating incident.”

The question now is: where does the Raiders organization go from here? The team is still trying to move forward from its former head coach Jon Gruden’s resignation earlier this season. Gruden was in hot water after numerous emails were uncovered with conversations between Gruden and former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen. The emails, dating back to 2010, revealed both men making racist, sexist and homophobic comments towards NFL players, executives and other athletes. Gruden stepped down as head coach amid controversy and investigations are ongoing involving Allen and the Washington organization.

Following the Gruden resignation, the team overcame the distraction and won two straight games under interim head coach Rich Bisaccia. However, following the Ruggs accident, the team lost its next game to the New York Giants. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr attributed the loss to his turnovers and the team’s lack of execution rather than any emotional fallout.

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