Former Top-5 Pick QB Floated as Jimmy Garoppolo Replacement Amid Injury News

jimmy garoppolo

Getty Jimmy Garoppolo of the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Las Vegas Raiders dropped a surprise update when it was revealed that Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t participating in organized team activities due to injury. The Athletic later reported that the quarterback underwent foot surgery after he signed a contract with the team. Considering his extensive injury history, this is a situation that should concern the Raiders.

Brian Hoyer hasn’t won a start since 2016 and rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell has never taken an NFL snap. The Raiders can’t be expected to win very many games if either of those two are the starters. The team decided against adding a quarterback in the first two rounds of the draft this year even with the knowledge that Garoppolo underwent surgery. If the quarterback’s recovery takes longer than expected, Las Vegas may want to explore more exciting options. Longtime NFL analyst Rich Eisen floated one possibility with previous ties to Garoppolo.

“Let’s say training camp hits and he’s not ready, but he’ll be back at some point … but you need somebody and Brady’s like, ‘I’m not doing it,’ which is entirely feasible. … Who’s a quarterback who could be made available?” Eisen asked on the May 25 episode of the “Rich Eisen Show.”

One of Eisen’s co-hosts said Trey Lance, which he acknowledged as the correct answer.

Is Lance Worth Taking a Risk On?

Lance and Garoppolo spent the last two seasons together on the San Francisco 49ers. Lance actually took over Garoppolo’s starting job last season. While there’s no reason to believe they don’t have a good relationship, the veteran probably wouldn’t be stoked to see the former No. 3 pick back on the same team.

That said, the Raiders should care little about Garoppolo’s feelings if he’s not healthy enough to play. Lance has been a flop with the 49ers but much of that has been due to injury issues. He’s just 23 years old and hasn’t been able to play in many games. There could still be potential there waiting to get unlocked. Plus, the 49ers’ asking price for him shouldn’t be too high thanks to the emergence of Brock Purdy. They may just want to dump Lance for something before he’s worth nothing. Sending the 49ers a third-round pick for a quarterback who still has big-time potential could be worth the shot if the Raiders don’t think O’Connell is good enough to start games.

Josh McDaniels Not Concerned About Garoppolo

While it’s always concerning when a key player has to undergo surgery, the Raiders don’t appear very concerned. Las Vegas was aware that Garoppolo needed surgery prior to signing him so they wouldn’t have gone through with the deal if they didn’t think he’d be fine. Head coach Josh McDaniels doesn’t seem concerned about the quarterback.

“We don’t play a game for 100 days,” McDaniels said during his May 25 media availability. “Everything that’s happened since we signed Jimmy, we knew ahead of time. … Certainly had an awareness of all of it. Our preference is not to push it and rush anybody back at this point in time.”

It’s certainly a situation to watch but it’s not time to panic yet. If Garoppolo isn’t ready by training camp, then it’s time to be concerned.

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