Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did not participate in the team’s OTA practices this week as he recovers from a left foot injury suffered late last season, coach Josh McDaniels said Thursday. Although McDaniels declined to discuss specifics, team and league sources said Garoppolo had the surgery in March after signing with the Raiders. The timeline for his recovery from that practice is unknown, though McDaniels admitted he “could be out” at least until training camp.
“He’s going through his process as we know it,” McDaniels said Thursday. “There is nothing that has happened that would surprise us based on the information we have.”
Here’s what you need to know:
- Garoppolo initially suffered a left foot injury on December 6, 2022 while playing for the 49ers. San Francisco feared he suffered a Lisfranc fracture — which required surgery — but 49ers team doctors determined it was a different type of fracture that did not require surgery and had a recovery time frame of about two months.
- Based on that, Garoppolo — who was trying to make a comeback if the 49ers reach the Super Bowl — should have been fully healthy by the time he agreed to a contract with the Raiders on March 13. Garoppolo arrived at team headquarters in Henderson, Nev., to sign his contract on March 16, but left the facility without doing so.
- While Garoppolo signed a day later and held his introductory news conference, he didn’t reveal the reason behind the delay or provide clear information about the status of his foot injury. But according to a league source, the Raiders actually needed surgery on Garoppolo’s leg during his physical and the procedure was performed after his debut.
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What is the anxiety level?
That means the Raiders aren’t worried about Garoppolo being ready for the start of the regular season in September.
“We don’t play a game for 100 days,” McDaniels said Thursday. “Everything that’s happened since we signed Jimmy, we knew beforehand. … Certainly there was an awareness of that. It’s our preference not to rush anybody out of it at this point.
However, given Garoppolo’s history, injury remains a concern.
Since Garoppolo became a starter after being traded from the Patriots to the 49ers in 2017, he has missed 31 regular-season games and suffered three season-ending injuries. The Raiders had that situation and were comfortable giving him a three-year, $72.75 million contract with $33.75 million in total guarantees, but now he’s set to miss time again before playing a snap for them. That further delays the opportunity to develop chemistry with star receiver Davante Adams and the team’s other offensive weapons.
Even if he’s ready to go in time for Week 1, it’s fair to question whether he can last all season. The Raiders view Brian Hoyer as a potential backup and believe in the long-term development of Aidan O’Connell, whom they traded up to draft in the fourth round last month, but no player can come close to matching Garoppolo. Production is expected this season. If Garoppolo’s injury issues continue, the Raiders’ offense will be in tough shape.
Asked during his introduction if he was worried the Raiders deal would fall through, Garoppolo said he was “not worried” and called the process “very collaborative.”
Garoppolo said his goal is to “bring the silver and black back to where it needs to be.”
Asked if he expects to be Las Vegas’ “long-term” starter, the veteran said, “I’m just coming in with the mindset of earning everything.” He added, “I don’t want to give ‘you own it’ or anything like that. I want to come in and earn.
Asked if he still had something to prove in his career, Garoppolo replied: “Yes. I’m trying to win a Super Bowl. I know every player says that’s my goal when they come to their first press conference.
(Photo: Candice Ward / USA Today)