Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo entered concussion protocol following his team’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday, putting his status for the Raiders’ Week 4 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers in question.
Garoppolo returned to practice on Thursday, an indication that he was making progress toward returning. However, it doesn’t appear that Garoppolo will be available in the AFC West clash.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Garoppolo remains in concussion protocol.
Las Vegas signed Garoppolo to a three-year, $72.5 million contract this past offseason after parting ways with long-time signal-caller Derek Carr.
The early returns on Garoppolo have not been great.
Through the first three games of the season, the 31-year-old has thrown five touchdowns and a league-worst six interceptions, with three of them coming in the loss to the Steelers last weekend.
Should Garoppolo be unavailable for the Chargers game, rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell could be in line to start.
O’Connell, who played his collegiate football at Purdue, was selected by the Raiders in the fourth round of the NFL Draft back in the spring.
The 25-year-old created a lot of buzz due to his impressive performance in the preseason, resulting in some Las Vegas fans feeling that he could be the quarterback of the future.
Of course, preseason is not always a good indicator of future performance, and once Garoppolo gets healthy, he will almost surely retake his spot as the Raiders’ starter under center.
After all, Las Vegas is paying Jimmy Garoppolo a hefty salary.
The Raiders have gotten off to a 1-2 start this season. Things have certainly not been easy for the franchise over the last couple of decades, as Las Vegas (formerly Oakland) has made the playoffs just twice since 2003 and has not won a playoff game since last making it to the Super Bowl 21 years ago.