In the Las Vegas Raiders’ Week 3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a concussion. He was unable to recover and make it through the NFL’s concussion protocol in time for the Raiders’ Week 4 contest against the Los Angeles Chargers, with rookie QB Aidan O’Connell getting the start in his place.
Heading into Week 5, and with an extra day to prepare as the Raiders host the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, the belief is that Garoppolo should be ready to return in time for the contest. But he still has yet to make it through concussion protocol.
Following Thursday’s practice, head coach Josh McDaniels revealed that Garoppolo is still in the final stages of the concussion protocol and is not yet practicing via ESPN’s Field Yates:
Raiders coach Josh McDaniels says QB Jimmy Garoppolo remains in the final stages of concussion protocol.
Meanwhile, WR Davante Adams (shoulder) won’t practice today.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 5, 2023
There is still plenty of time for Garoppolo to be cleared and ready to go for Week 5, but with concussions, there is never a set timeline for recovery. Some are able to be over the symptoms relatively quickly, while other times, these things linger on, and it is completely out of the person’s control.
The entire purpose of the NFL’s concussion protocol is to ensure that players are not putting themselves at risk for further head injury by returning to the field too early, so there is clearly something still happening that is preventing Garoppolo from suiting up for the Raiders at the moment. But that could quickly change any day.
Injuries have always been a concern for Garoppolo throughout his career, as he has been productive when healthy but struggled to stay on the field consistently. With the Raiders now sitting at 1-3 and in danger of this season spiraling out of control quickly, Garoppolo is undoubtedly looking to get back on the field and begin turning things around so that the Raiders can ultimately realize their vast potential.
Should he not be able to suit up for a second straight contest, it will likely be O’Connell getting the start again. The fourth-round rookie certainly had his issues in his first career start against the Chargers, namely that late interception in the end zone, which ended all hopes of the Raiders comeback and tying the game late. Even still, O’Connell has believers within that locker room that he can ultimately deliver should Garoppolo remain out.