After making sweeping changes to the front office and coaching staff, the Las Vegas Raiders are turning their attention to the roster. On Tuesday, the franchise dismissed coach Josh McDaniels and general manager David Ziegler amid a 3-5 start to the season.
Two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be benched in favor of rookie Aidan O’Connell, interim head coach Antonio Pierce confirmed on Wednesday.
Garoppolo was the Raiders’ biggest offseason acquisition and signed a three-year deal with the team. However, the oft-injured quarterback has not lived up to expectations when he has been on the football field.
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Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the Las Vegas Raiders passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Allegiant Stadium on September 24, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Chris Unger/Getty Images)
“It will be Aidan, going forward,” Pierce said in the introductory news conference on Wednesday. “We just feel like it gives us the best chance.”
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O’Connell was drafted in the fourth round. He has appeared in two games, making one start so far this season. The 25-year-old finished his Week 4 start against the Los Angeles Chargers with 238 passing yards and one interception.
Head coach Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders speaks with Jimmy Garoppolo, #10 of the Las Vegas Raiders, in the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Allegiant Stadium on September 24, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Garoppolo has missed two games this season with an injury. The team elected to start Brian Hoyer in Week 7 against the Chicago Bears. O’Connell did eventually enter the game after Hoyer got off to a slow start and threw two interceptions.
Aidan O’Connell, #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders, looks to pass against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half at SoFi Stadium on October 1, 2023, in Inglewood, California. (Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
McDaniels and the Raiders brought in Garoppolo with the hopes that he would be the solution at the quarterback position for the next few years, but Garoppolo’s stint in Las Vegas got off to a rough start as he dealt with a foot injury early in th offseason.
Garoppolo also dealt with a variety of injury setbacks during his time with the San Francisco 49ers.
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The Raiders will likely use the remainder of the regular season to evaluate O’Connell in order to determine whether he could be a solution at the quarterback position for the longer term. O’Connell’s second career NFL start is scheduled for this Sunday against the New York Giants.
Chantz Martin is a sports writer for Fox News Digital.