HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Las Vegas quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who missed the previous six quarters because of a back injury, was cleared for the Raiders’ game Monday night at the Detroit Lions.
“I think he’s got a little pep in his step,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said Saturday.
Garoppolo was injured in the first half of the Raiders’ 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots two weeks ago. Brian Hoyer played the second half and then started Sunday’s 30-12 loss at the Chicago Bears.
Kicker Daniel Carlson (right groin) returned to practice Saturday after sitting out the previous two days. He was injured in pregame at Chicago, though Carlson played that game.
The Raiders signed James McCourt to the practice squad in case Carlson isn’t ready to go.
“I would trust (Carlson) to know his body and situation better than everybody else,” McDaniels said. “He’ll do what he needs to do today to kind of make an assessment, and then we’ll figure out if that’s something we’re going to give two more days and give it a shot or not. It’s a little tricky with a kicker based on if you don’t necessarily want to dress a backup, if you will.”
McDaniels said cornerbacks Nate Hobbs (ankle) and Jakorian Bennett (shoulder/knee) were “headed in the right direction.”
“I feel better today than I did a few days ago,” McDaniels said.
McDaniels was much more cautious in discussing the status of linebacker Divine Deablo, who hasn’t practiced this week because of an ankle injury.
Getting back Garoppolo is crucial for the Raiders (3-4) in what is a pivotal game in their season. A loss will likely eliminate any realistic hopes of making the postseason, but a victory will again move them to .500 with consecutive home games coming up against both New York teams that are a combined 5-8.
Garoppolo, however, must find a way to better protect the ball. His eight interceptions are tied with Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts for most in the NFL even though he has missed significant time with the back injury and a concussion.
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