On Sunday, the Bears and the Raiders will face off without their starting quarterbacks, posing a significant challenge for both teams.
The Raiders’ Jimmy Garoppolo will be sidelined due to a back injury sustained during the first half against the Patriots last week. Although the injury isn’t as severe as initially feared, Garoppolo hasn’t practiced, forcing the Raiders to choose between veteran Brian Hoyer and rookie Aidan O’Connell as replacements.
Hoyer, a 15-year veteran, stepped in for Garoppolo during the Patriots game, completing 6 of 10 passes for 102 yards in a crucial 21-17 victory. Interestingly, Hoyer, like the Bears’ prospective starter Tyson Bagent, entered the NFL undrafted.
Hoyer previously played for the Bears in 2016, securing a 98.0 passer rating in five starts, albeit with the team managing just one win out of those games. He also had a lone start for the Patriots last season.
On the other side, the Bears are dealing with their own quarterback issue. Justin Fields is doubtful to play due to a dislocated thumb, rendering him unable to practice. As a result, the Bears are planning to start undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent, adding to the uncertainty of the matchup.
The Raiders have another option in the form of rookie Aidan O’Connell, a fourth-round draft pick out of Purdue who previously played at Stevenson High School.
O’Connell started for the Raiders in Week 4 against the Chargers, completing 24 of 39 passes for 234 yards, although he threw an interception, leading to a passer rating of 68.1. He also showcased his versatility by rushing for a touchdown during that game.
With both teams missing their starting quarterbacks, Sunday’s game promises an interesting battle between veteran experience and rookie talent, adding an element of unpredictability to the outcome.