Marcus Mariota’s brief time with the Las Vegas Raiders has been a little strange so far. While the team didn’t say anything, it was assumed he was going to compete for the starting job. That didn’t come close to happening and then he got sent to the injured reserve.
The Raiders haven’t given much insight on what ails him but according to general manager Mike Mayock, it wasn’t a typical injury.
“He just had kind of a freak little injury,” Mayock said on. The Rich Eisen Show. “We put him on short-term IR, which means he will be back in the next couple of weeks and he should be better than ever.”
The injury is unrelated to the ankle surgery that Mariota had done in the offseason.
“When we signed him, part of the conversation was he had to have some offseason surgery on his ankle and get himself right medically,” Mayock said.
The thing is, the Raiders hadn’t revealed that Mariota got surgery in the offseason. They made him the highest-paid backup in the NFL knowing that he had a problem with his shoulder and needed ankle surgery. The whole thing doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.
Are Raiders Planning to Play Mariota?
The only way this makes sense is if the Raiders didn’t plan on ever using Mariota as the starting quarterback but had a more unique role for him.
“We’re trying to get him 100 percent medically because when he is 100 percent he brings a little different dynamic to the table,” Mayock said.
Those comments from Mayock make it sound like the team has plans for Mariota to see the field.
“I’m not saying anything,” Mayock when pressed on what he meant by the previous comments. “I am saying we have to get him right medically.”
Mayock is being very cryptic and keeping his cards close to the vest. However, it sounds like the Raiders could have plans for Mariota to play a Taysom Hill-type role with the team. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson talked about how they had similar plans for Lynn Bowden Jr., but he was traded. Perhaps they would still like to have that kind of dynamic with the team but with Mariota instead. If that’s the case, the signing would make a lot more sense. We won’t know until at least Week 4.
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Raiders Insider Drops Info on Mariota
The Raiders aren’t trying to say anything about Mariota’s injury but Vic Tafur of The Athletic dropped some knowledge on it:
Now, Mariota didn’t look sharp at camp and was coming off a shoulder injury that everyone knew about and an ankle injury that was a big secret. He then went on IR with a new injury. I was told it was a pectoral injury, but the Raiders are only saying it’s not the shoulder or ankle.
The Raiders have had trouble with pectoral injuries lately for whatever reason. Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski had to leave Sunday’s game due to his pectoral and Trent Brown missed some games last year because of the same issue. It’s strange that the Raiders are staying so quiet about a backup quarterback. it seems like there’s more going on behind the scenes than has been revealed to the public.