The inclusion of veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer on the Raiders’ roster along with starter Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Aidan O’Connell would seem to indicate a logical depth chart at the position.
But it might not be as simple as Hoyer serving as the backup with O’Connell in the emergency role created by the NFL’s new rule governing third quarterbacks.
“I’ve always looked at it like we have a starter and then everybody behind him is going to be ready to go,” coach Josh McDaniels said of the depth chart. “On game day, we have to have somebody (designated) as the third quarterback. So, as we do that, we’re not going to have all three of them inside the (game-day actives) unless we have a bunch of injuries.”
The new rule allows a third quarterback to be eligible to play in emergencies, but not count against the number of active players allowed on game day as long as they are included on the 53-man roster during the week.
There was speculation that the solid play of O’Connell in the preseason could allow the Raiders to carry just Garoppolo and O’Connell on the roster, but McDaniels said that was never considered.
“(The plan) was to go with three, and not for any specific reason other than we felt like we had three guys that were capable of being roster players,” he said. “Aidan has obviously got a lot of developing in front of him, Brian has played plenty of football, and obviously we’re excited about Jimmy.”
The decision on the No. 2 and No. 3 jobs could be situational.
Hoyer possesses a vast amount of experience in the NFL and McDaniels’ system and probably will be the backup at least early in the season. Should Garoppolo get injured during a game, Hoyer is probably better equipped to take over in that situation.
“As you head into the regular season, nobody but the starter gets many opportunities in practice,” McDaniels said. “So you just have to take into consideration what that would be like, because playing a game with repetitions in practice is different than playing in a game with no repetitions in practice.
“It’s different if you know you have an injury and we’re going to play three weeks without our starter. Now we have an opportunity to figure out what we want to do with practice.”
Practice squad filled
The Raiders added another talented receiver to the practice squad Thursday, one who might provide insight into the team’s Week 1 opponent.
Marquez Callaway, who played for Broncos coach Sean Payton in New Orleans and was cut by Denver this week, was one of four players added to the practice squad.
Payton and the Broncos made a similar move by signing receiver Phillip Dorsett, who played for McDaniels in New England and was cut by the Raiders this week.
Callaway, 25, had 83 catches for 1,069 yards and seven touchdowns in 42 games, including 17 starts, for the Saints in the past three seasons.
Defensive end Janarius Robinson, a fourth-round pick of the Vikings in 2021 out of Florida State who spent time with the Eagles last season, was also added to the practice squad.
Linebacker Isaac Darkangelo and guard Vitaliy Gurman, released this week by the Raiders, were brought back to fill out the practice squad.
Wide receiver Devin Ross was released after one day to clear an extra spot. The Raiders are allowed 17 players because one is defensive lineman David Agoha, part of the International Player Pathway Program.