With organized team activities underway, the Las Vegas Raiders are missing one key player on the field: Jimmy Garappolo. The newly acquired quarterback underwent foot surgery in March after moving on from the San Francisco 49ers and signing with his new team, according to a report from The Athletic’s Tashan Reed and Vic Tafur.
Garappolo, 31, reportedly arrived at the Raiders’ team headquarters on March 16 with plans to sign his contract. He didn’t sign until the next day. His physical caused the delay, according to the report.
The two-time Super Bowl champion fractured his foot in December during a victory over the Miami Dolphins. 49ers team doctors determined that Garoppolo wouldn’t need surgery, just two months of recovery. Raiders doctors reportedly believed otherwise and recommended the procedure, which Garoppolo underwent after he was introduced as a Raider.
While there is no set recovery timeline, head coach Josh McDaniels didn’t express concern about it. Garoppolo could be held out until July when training camp begins, McDaniels said Thursday.
“We don’t play a game for 100 days,” he added. “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.”
Garoppolo has a long history of injuries that the Raiders are now tasked with managing delicately.
When he wasn’t injured last season, Garoppolo showed a level of production that the Raiders will need for the entirety of the upcoming campaign. He threw for 2,437 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions in 11 games while completing 67.2 percent of his passes. He notched a 7-3 record in his starts.
He didn’t play another game after sustaining his current injury, as rookie Brock Purdy stepped up to lead San Francisco to a 5-0 record. After starting the NFC Championship Game, Purdy and backup Josh Johnson were both forced to leave the 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles with injuries.
Behind Garoppolo, the Raiders have Brian Hoyer as an option at backup and traded up to draft Aidan O’Connell in the fourth round of the NFL Draft last month. Ideally, O’Connell will have time to develop before taking the field. That will likely be the case if Garoppolo stays healthy.