Skip to main content
Raider Nation, Stand Up - View Schedule - Presented by Allegiant
Presented By

Raiders Mailbag: What's the quarterback situation as team prepares for Chargers?

Dano Holland from Idaho asks:

"Is it O'Connell time?"

Not so fast on Aidan O'Connell time just yet.

The rookie quarterback is in contention for snaps this Sunday, as Jimmy Garoppolo entered concussion protocol following the Steelers game. While Garoppolo may not have practiced Wednesday, he's still in the building going through meetings and such. Josh McDaniels stated that Garoppolo is progressing through the protocol, but the team is planning for all QB options.

"We'll give the guys reps in practice, and they usually get reps anyway to some degree," said McDaniels. "It would be a little bit more obviously if Jimmy's not out there today. We're just kind of taking it one day at a time, doing the best we can and preparing them as hard as we can for today, and then we'll see what tomorrow brings."

If Garoppolo isn't cleared in time for Sunday, Brian Hoyer or O'Connell could take the reins against the Chargers. It's completely understandable why Raider Nation is anxious to see O'Connell back on the field after completing nearly 70 percent of his passes for 482 yards and three touchdowns in the preseason.

"We've all been working together for so long now," Davante Adams said about the collective quarterback room. "So it's not as big of a thing as what it might seem on the outside as far as the adjustment and getting used to going with somebody new. Even within Training Camp, Jimmy'd take a couple of reps and then Hoyer would come in and throw. I've caught balls from Aidan in Training Camp as well. It's definitely less than what I've caught from [No.] 10 but we making it up right now."

Vegenzo Peoples from Pennsylvania asks:

"From a defense standpoint, what have you seen from Jakorian Bennett in last three weeks?

I've seen growth from Jakorian Bennett.

It's not easy being a cornerback in the NFL. It damn sure isn't easy being a rookie cornerback starting in the NFL. The Raiders have depended on the former Maryland Terrapin to do a lot so far, with his speed and intangibles being a strong suit. Opposing quarterbacks have targeted his side a lot through three games, which is not unusual for any rookie cornerback.

But Bennett doesn't give up.

The fourth-round pick has kept his head down with short term memory on plays. Despite wins or losses in coverage, he always seems ready to make the next play. As he's still trying to get acclimated to the pros, he has a talented secondary to help with Nate Hobbs, Marcus Epps, Marcus Peters and Tre’von Moehrig.

"He comes in and prepares really hard every day," McDaniels said of Bennett. "Just doing a really good job of getting into a routine with his body and making sure he's ready to go every day physically, along with mentally. I think he's really been trying to soak in some of the education from guys like Marcus Peters and [Marcus] Epps and those guys that have played a lot of football and understand what it takes. JB has been up to the challenge. He's learning every game.

"There's going to be some really good plays and then there's going to be some things he'll learn from relative to mistakes. But I trust his process, I trust his maturity and I trust his desire to improve and get better as we go through the course of the season. I think the reps are only going to help him."

Todd Clyatt from Idaho asks:

"When are we going to see Nesta Jade Silvera activated on gameday? Silvera has proven he can at least push the pocket and disrupt."

Nesta Jade Silvera will have to remain patient as he works for an opportunity to see regular season action.

The Raiders' seventh-round pick from Arizona State splashed in Training Camp and the preseason, showing glimpses of his potential as a run-stopping force in the interior defensive line. He plays with a nasty aggression that he can continue to build upon with more reps. Despite making the initial 53-man roster, he's yet to be activated for a game. Silvera not getting on the field yet is less of a knock on him, and more of the veterans in the defensive line room clicking. Over the past two games, they've been able to find a healthy rotation with John Jenkins, Adam Butler, Bilal Nichols and Jerry Tillery.

"It's important to have those guys up front leading into this week," said defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. "We have a pretty good group of guys that work pretty hard. They're really hard workers and they're also pretty intelligent. I love being around the defensive tackles and D-line. They're some of my favorite people to be around on the football field, so it's a positive."

The rookie must continue to improve in the classroom and on the field while absorbing knowledge from the vets around him. With 14 games left, it's difficult to imagine the Raiders not calling his number at some point. He'll just have to be ready when the time comes.

Head inside Intermountain Health Performance Center to view the best photos from the Silver and Black's Wednesday practice.

Related Content