The biggest concern when the Las Vegas Raiders signed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a three-year contract this offseason was his injury history. While Garoppolo has delivered more often than not when on the field, too often, ailments have kept him on the sideline, and unfortunately, that is already turning out to be the case this season.
Garoppolo was knocked out of the Raiders’ Week 6 victory over the New England Patriots with a back injury, having to be taken to a hospital. Veteran Brian Hoyer stepped in to help lead the Raiders to victory, and with Garoppolo not practicing this week, it seemed unlikely he would be suiting up this Sunday.
That has now been confirmed as the Raiders announced Garoppolo will not suit up on Sunday when the Raiders hit the road to take on the Chicago Bears, via Adam Schefter of ESPN:
Raiders’ QB Jimmy Garoppolo will not play Sunday’s game vs. the Bears due to his back injury, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 19, 2023
With Garoppolo not having practiced this week, things seemed to be leaning toward this way already, so this news doesn’t come as much of a surprise. This will be the second game Garoppolo will miss, as he also sat out the Raiders’ Week 4 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers with a concussion.
The discussion now turns towards who will start in his place. It was the veteran Hoyer who stepped in on Sunday and acquitted himself well in the second half. However, rookie Aidan O’Connell got the nod the last time Garoppolo had to sit out, and the team had the entire week to prepare without him.
The latest rumors sound as if that will again be the case with O’Connell getting the nod. It seems as if the Raiders trust the veteran Hoyer to step in on short notice in the middle of a game but prefer O’Connell if they have the entire week to build a game plan around what the rookie is comfortable with.
Either way, this is a huge contest for the Raiders, who now find themselves at 3-3 after two straight wins. The team obviously wants to keep the momentum going and have a great chance to do so against a Bears team that is also without their starting quarterback. Tyson Bagent will be under center for Chicago as Justin Fields suffered a dislocated thumb, so both teams will be trotting out backups in a game the Raiders absolutely need to win.