There was a bit of a scary moment for the Las Vegas Raiders early on in their Week 1 contest against the Denver Broncos. While scrambling for a first down, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took a shot to the head from Broncos linebacker Justin Simmons, drawing an unnecessary roughness call.
Garoppolo would leave the field for two plays as he was evaluated for a concussion but would return to the field, throwing the first of two touchdown passes to Jakobi Meyers in the Raiders’ 17-16 win. But with certain members of Broncos Country unhappy, Garoppolo got a little backup on social media from Raiders legend Charles Woodson.
Nick Ferguson, a radio host in Denver, posted a video insinuating that Garoppolo was not touched on the play and simply embellished the contact and potential damage. But Woodson himself would respond to the video, defending the Raiders quarterback and dismissing the idea he was faking:
So you would have me believe forearm and shin didn’t hit the back of his head?? Ok got it 👍🏾 https://t.co/Wio2lM2vV1
— Charles Woodson (@CharlesWoodson) September 12, 2023
While it might not have been this obvious, the massive hit there was clearly contact from Simmons’ knee and shin to Garoppolo’s head. And though it may not look like much, with the speed at which Simmons is running, it wouldn’t take much to potentially cause serious damage, especially depending on where on the head contact was made.
Regardless, the idea of Garoppolo faking head trauma and missing two plays simply doesn’t make sense. The Raiders were in the red zone of their opening drive with a chance to make a statement and put a touchdown on the board against a good Broncos defense on the road. Risking that to try and play up a fake concussion is simply ridiculous, and Woodson pointed out the nonsense.
In the end, it didn’t matter as Garoppolo came back and got the Raiders in the end zone and overall had a very solid outing in his debut with the silver and black. Though not spectacular, Garoppolo completed 20-of-26 passes for 200 yards and those two touchdowns. While he did have a bad interception in the end zone as well, he bounced back to lead his team to victory.
Perhaps most important is that he showed his teammates in the locker room what he is all about and what he’s willing to go through to make sure the Raiders come out on top every week.