LAS VEGAS — While one native of the Chicago area isn’t likely to start at quarterback against the Bears on Sunday, there is a good chance that another could take his place.
Per multiple reports, the first from Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Arlington Heights native Jimmy Garoppolo will miss Sunday’s game at Soldier Field due to a back injury.
He’s not practiced the last two days for Las Vegas after getting hurt against the Patriots in a win on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium, but the team has not officially ruled him out.
Should that be the case, Long Grove native Aidan O’Connell could be the signal caller that head coach Josh McDaniels chooses to fill in for Garoppolo against the Bears. Brian Hoyer, who played in Chicago during the 2016 season, could also be chosen to be the starter.
O’Connell, who played at Stevenson High School before being a two-time All-Big Ten second team selection at Purdue in 2021-2022, is in his first season with the Raiders, who drafted him in the fourth round.
When Garoppolo missed the Raiders’ contest against the Chargers in Week 4 due to a concussion, O’Connell was the choice to start by McDaniels. During that game, he was 24-of-39 passing for 238 yards and an interception along with two lost fumbles in a 24-17 loss to Los Angeles.
Last Sunday, when Garoppolo left with a back injury against New England, it was the veteran Hoyer who came in, going 6-for-10 for 102 yards in a 21-17 victory.
A standout at Rolling Meadows High School then a Payton Award winner at Eastern Illinois, Garoppolo is in his first season with the Raiders and tenth in the NFL. Arriving in Las Vegas after spending the last six seasons with the 49ers, In five games, he’s completed 68.7 percent of his passes for 1,079 yards and seven touchdowns compared to eight interceptions.
The Raiders enter Sunday’s game with the Bears with a 3-3 record.