Originally published by RaidersNewswire.com
There has been a big question mark over who would be starting at quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders in their Week 8 Monday night contest against the Detroit Lions. Starter Jimmy Garoppolo sat out Week 8 with a back injury, and while the belief was he would be ok to start, he hadn’t yet been cleared to practice.
After an awful showing by veteran Brian Hoyer in the Raiders’ loss to the Chicago Bears, it was rumored that rookie Aidan O’Connell would start if Garoppolo was unable to go. O’Connell also started in Week 4 when Garoppolo was out due to a concussion, and with the extra day to prepare, the staff apparently believed he was the best option.
But it looks like that won’t be needed, as ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez reports that Garoppolo was cleared to return to practice on Thursday and is on track to start on Monday Night:
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who sat out Sunday’s loss at Chicago Bears with a back injury suffered the week before against the New England Patriots, returned to practice Thursday and, barring any setbacks, is on track to start Monday night at the Detroit Lions, Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said.
Exactly what the injury was that Garoppolo suffered remains unclear as the quarterback didn’t get into specifics, but the Raiders apparently feared it could have been an internal issue at the time, via Gutierrez:
Garoppolo declined to get into the specifics of the injury, saying only that it was “different” than any of his previous ones. The Raiders feared an internal injury at the time and sent him via ambulance to an area hospital to get scans of his back.
What is important is that Garoppolo is cleared and ready to get back under center as this game against the Lions is set to be one of the toughest of the Raiders season so far. The Lions have one of the best offenses in football that can beat you through the air or on the ground. Even if the Raiders defense steps up, the offense is gonna have to reach a level they haven’t seen this season.
Garoppolo under center represents the team’s best chance at doing just that. The Raiders still have the talent to put up big numbers against anyone, but they haven’t shown that this year. For his part, Garoppolo will need to do a better job at taking care of the ball, and if he can do that, the Raiders will be looking to shock a lot of people on Monday.
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