Head Coach Josh McDaniels announced Wednesday that Jarrett Stidham will start the Raiders' final two games of the 2022 regular season.
Derek Carr, who's started in 91 consecutive games for the Raiders, will be inactive while Stidham will play to further evaluate the quarterback. According to McDaniels, there were many factors involved in his decision to make Stidham the starting quarterback.
"We're all accountable to where we're at," McDaniels said. "And I think this is more about an opportunity to see a guy that we haven't seen play in a situation like this against a couple good teams, really good teams. Derek has played a lot of football. There's a lot of evaluating that's going to take place here once the season is over in terms of how we make the most progress, what makes the most sense for everybody and how we move forward."
This will be the first career start for Stidham, who joined the Silver and Black through a trade from the New England Patriots. McDaniels has familiarity with the third-year quarterback, dating back to be his offensive coordinator the two seasons he was in New England.
Stidham was drafted in 2019 out of Auburn, where in two seasons as a Tiger, he threw for 5,952 yards and 36 touchdowns. Since arriving to the NFL, he's backed up three former Pro Bowlers in Tom Brady, Cam Newton and Derek Carr. Even with his spot on the depth chart, his preparation and practice habits haven't wavered as he has worked to stay prepared for any situation throughout the season.
"[H]e works really hard and he's very bright, understands our offensive system," McDaniels said. "He's prepared like he's playing every week since he's been in the NFL. He was the backup as a rookie, he has experience getting himself ready to go in that regard. ... I expect him to be ready to go like he's always been. I know that's his mindset, he works really hard to do that."
Stidham played in all four of the Raiders' preseason games, throwing for 316 yards with a 63 percent completion rate in that span. He has a huge challenge in his first NFL start against the San Francisco 49ers, which boast the No. 1 ranked defense in the league.
"I think anytime you get to compete and challenge yourself against the best, I think that's a great opportunity for you individually and for our team collectively," McDaniels said. "They're as good as a group as we've played. ... They turn the ball over a lot, create a lot of negative plays, very good on third downs, especially third-and-long. This is a big challenge.
"It's a good opportunity for us as a team to prepare to get ready to play a team like this who's really on a roll, playing as good right now as probably any team we've played."
View the best photos from the Raiders' Week 16 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium.