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Jimmy Garoppolo ruled out: Who is potential Raiders starter Aidan O'Connell?

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo got in a pair of limited practices this week, but he's ultimately been ruled out by the team due to a concussion. Garoppolo finished the Week 3 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers but developed symptoms once it ended.

With two straight losses and a division matchup on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Raiders are in a precarious position so early in the season, particularly without their starting quarterback. While Brian Hoyer has been the team's backup for the first three weeks, he may not actually be the starter in Week 4.

Could Aidan O'Connell be the surprise starter?

Hoyer is a savvy veteran who has been in the NFL for 15 years. He's never been a standout passer but has been serviceable in a pinch. But at 37 years old, he may be giving way to an up and coming rookie on Sunday according to Adam Schefter.

Aidan O'Connell wasn't active through the first three weeks, but the Raiders think rather highly of him. They drafted him out of Purdue in the 4th round of the 2023 NFL Draft. It was a bit of a surprise that O'Connell went before higher-ranked signal-callers like Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Clayton Tune, but the Raiders were flattered by his accuracy and size.

O'Connell wasn't overly dominant in college. He threw 65 touchdowns to 30 interceptions over his four-season career, although he was rather accurate, particularly in 2021 when he completed 71.8% of his passes for 8.5 yards per attempt.

During his first NFL preseason, O'Connell set NFL twitter ablaze with outstanding performances.

Aidan O'Connell's preseason stats were impressive.

Aidan O'Connell's preseason stats were impressive.Adam Levitan / Twitter

Hoyer might give the Raiders a safer "floor" for Week 4, but O'Connell certainly gives the team a higher ceiling given we don't know how good he can truly be. With Jimmy G being a potential cut candidate after 2024, it would behoove the Raiders to see if the rookie can be a future starter in this league.

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