Jimmy Garoppolo's prognosis 'good,' status TBD for Sunday

ByPaul Gutierrez ESPN logo
Monday, October 16, 2023

HENDERSON, Nev. -- While the Las Vegas Raiders feared an internal injury for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and sent him to the hospital for scans at halftime of Sunday's game, Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said it "seems like we've dodged a big bullet" in his Monday media conference.

"So that's good news," said McDaniels, who noted that the quarterback was still undergoing testing Monday morning. "We'll make sure we do all the right things here as we go forward, but the prognosis is a lot better than it might have otherwise been."

Garoppolo was injured during the Raiders' final first-half drive but stayed in the game. He was in obvious pain in the huddle as he grabbed at his lower right back. After he did not return to the field after halftime -- he left in an ambulance still wearing his game pants -- the Raiders listed him as out with a back injury.

He had led the Raiders to a 13-3 halftime lead, en route to a 21-17 win over the New England Patriots that evened Las Vegas' record at 3-3 as 15th-year veteran Brian Hoyer played the second half.

The Raiders play at the Chicago Bears (1-5) on Sunday. McDaniels said it was too early to determine who would start at quarterback for Las Vegas.

"We'll just, again, protect him, for sure and make sure that we're not putting him at risk," McDaniels said of Garoppolo. "That would never be something we would want to do. So, again, that's going to be a medical thing for us, relative to following their orders."

Rookie Aidan O'Connell started for the Raiders in their Week 4 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers, throwing for 238 yards and an interception while completing 24 of 39 passes and getting sacked seven times.

Hoyer, meanwhile, was 6 of 10 for 102 yards against the Patriots, including a 48-yard pass to rookie receiver Tre Tucker on third-and-4 that was the Raiders' longest play from scrimmage this season.

In five games, Garoppolo has passed for 1,079 yards while completing 68.0% of his passes with seven touchdowns and an NFL-high eight interceptions for a passer rating of 82.6 and a Total QBR of 48.3

"Again, very happy that we, obviously, dodged a bad scenario, so we'll just kind of take [doctors'] advice," McDaniels said. "We don't even have everything we need yet to make that determination, but the fact that we've played three guys already certainly doesn't hurt. It's not ideal in terms of what you want to do, but [O'Connell and Hoyer] both got game experience. They both have had to operate our offense in critical situations in close games, so that's helpful for them too.

"Whatever would give the team the best opportunity to win, which may be Jimmy. Obviously, we'll have to see how that goes."