It hasn’t been a great stint with the Las Vegas Raiders for Marcus Mariota so far. He didn’t play well in training camp and didn’t come close to pushing Derek Carr for the starting job. Now, the team has revealed that he’s being placed on injured reserve.
Due to new rules, Mariota will only have to be on the injured reserve for at least three weeks. The season isn’t over for the former second overall pick. There are still some who are clinging onto the idea that he is going to start at some point this season but this injury almost solidifies that he’s not going to play unless Carr gets injured. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the team doesn’t expect Mariota to be out long. Nathan Peterman should serve as Carr’s backup for the time being.
The Raiders also revealed that quarterback DeShone Kizer will be returning on their practice squad. Kizer was signed last year and had a brief stint as Carr’s primary backup. He was cut early in the offseason but with Mike Glennon signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars, it makes sense to bring back Kizer due to his familiarity with the system.
Mariota Experiment Isn’t Going as Planned
No matter what the Raiders say, they didn’t make Mariota the highest-paid backup in the NFL due to his leadership ability. The plan was probably for him to at least push Carr for the starting job. Reports have indicated that he struggled throwing the ball in training camp. Also, according to Ian Rapoport, Mariota has a pectoral strain.
That would likely explain why he was having a hard time in practice. Regardless, it’s hard not to see the Mariota signing as a mistake. They could’ve used all the money they’re paying to sign somebody like Jadeveon Clowney or Everson Griffin. Cam Newton and Jameis Winston signed for a lot less money and have better career numbers than Mariota. Between the moves to trade Lynn Bowden Jr., cutting Damarious Randall and the Mariota contract, this offseason hasn’t looked great for the Raiders front office. General manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden better hope that their other moves pay off.
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Raiders Re-Sign 2 Veterans
In other news, the Raiders decided to bring back a couple of recently cut veterans. With rookie Tanner Muse headed to injured reserve, the team is bringing back linebacker Kyle Wilber. The veteran is a special teams ace and was captain of the squad last year. Having Muse made keeping Wilber a luxury they couldn’t really afford. Now that they have room, he should go back to leading the special teams.
One of the surprising moves the Raiders made during final roster cuts was the decision to cut backup offensive tackle Sam Young. He was playing with the first-team offensive line when Trent Brown was absent from practice and the team recently traded David Sharpe. That left Brandon Parker as the primary backup tackle. He’s struggled throughout his young career so it’s a smart move to bring him back.