SEPTEMBER 30: Garoppolo will not clear the protocol in time to suit up on Sunday. He has officially been ruled out by the team, leaving Vegas with an interesting Hoyer-or-O’Connell decision for the contest against the Chargers. Garoppolo should be expected to be available in time for Week 6, a Monday night affair against the Packers.
SEPTEMBER 25: Jimmy Garoppoloplayed the Raiders’ Week 3 game in full, but his availability for the team’s next contest is now in doubt. Head coach Josh McDaniels said on Monday, via Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, that Garoppolo is in the concussion protocol.
It is unknown when exactly in Vegas’ primetime loss Garoppolo suffered the injury, but he was evaluated for a concussion after the game. Having now been placed in the protocol, the team’s free agent addition faces a tough road to be cleared in time for Week 4. Provided he is forced to miss a game, it will be interesting to see how the Raiders proceed under center.
As Tashan Reed of the Athletic notes, McDaniels declined to confirm that veteran Brian Hoyer would suit up as Vegas’ starter if necessary. The latter has dressed as the backup in every game so far this season, giving the Raiders a familiar face given the ties shared between he, Garoppolo and McDaniels dating back to their respective days with the Patriots. Hoyer, 37, contemplated retirement this offseason before taking a deal including $4.21MM guaranteed across two seasons. His last start came with New England in 2022, but it has been seven years since his most recent win.
Vegas also has fourth-round rookie Aidan O’Connell in place as an option. The Purdue alum drew praise for his performances in preseason, leading to speculation he could overtake Hoyer on the depth chart. O’Connell has been designated the Raiders’ emergency third quarterback each game to date, but a full week of preparation with the first-team offense would of course alter the situation for either non-Garoppolo passer in advance of a Week 4 start.
“We’ll prepare for everybody,” McDaniels said when asked about the team’s QB situation, via Reed and colleague Vic Tafur (subscription required). “I mean, obviously, that would change things relative to Aidan, also, if Jimmy was not to progress through the protocol to be able to play. So, we’re hard at work prepping how we manage that situation as best we can as it progresses through the week.”
After moving on from Derek Carr, the Raiders turned to Garoppolo with a three-year, $72.75MM deal. Offseason foot surgery prompted the team to include an injury clause in that contract, and today’s news adds further to the lengthy injury history for the former 49ers starter. Garoppolo threw three interceptions last night, bringing his season total to a league-leading six. Still, the 1-2 Raiders would have uncertainty under center (especially with O’Connell) if Garoppolo were to miss Week 4, so his progress will be worth monitoring over the coming days.