McGloin's injury adds uncertainty to Raiders starting QB spot

McGloin's injury adds uncertainty to Raiders starting QB spot

DENVER – Matt McGloin’s first start of the season did not go according to plan. The Raiders backup quarterback struggled filling in for injured starter Derek Carr, and never got a chance to course correct.

McGloin got hurt on his fourth series, taking an illegal shot to the shoulder and neck area in the second quarter of Sunday’s 24-6 loss to the Denver Broncos. He did not return.

The Raiders said McGloin has a shoulder injury, but NFL Network reported that McGloin hurt his trapezius muscle, which was acting like a pinched nerve.

“I couldn’t throw in the motion I’m used to,” McGloin said. “I'll get in there tomorrow morning getting treatment and working to get healthy.”

McGloin believes he can recover in time to play the postseason opener against Houston.

“That’s my mindset right now. I want to play,” McGloin said. “I wanted to play out there tonight, but it’s about what’s best for the team. If I’m not 100 percent healthy, that’s not what this team needs. I plan on being 100 percent healthy and I’m going to do everything I can in the training room to get back to 100 percent.”It remains uncertain whether Matt McGloin will start against the Texans, or if the Raiders will go to fourth-round rookie Connor Cook.

The Michigan State alum made some rookie mistakes, but flashed arm talent and seemed calm in the pocket. Cook was 14-for-21 passing for 150 yards, a touchdown, an interception and a lost fumble.

McGloin completed 6-of-11 passes for 21 yards. He was inaccurate an inopportune times, including a few instances where receivers were open. McGloin has more experience, which suggests the Raiders could go with him if he’s able to play. NFL Network reports there is some doubt McGloin will be ready to play.

“We’ll see how healthy McGloin is and make the decision from there,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “Obviously he has more experience in our system, a little bit longer, but I thought Connor did a nice job with the opportunities he had.”

Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster


Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster

The Raiders have a lot of quarterbacks under contract, certainly more than they’ll have come September.

That means the battle to be Derek Carr’s backup should be fierce. EJ Manuel had that title last year, with a shot to retain it after re-signing with the club on Thursday afternoon.

Veteran Josh Johnson signed up Monday, and those two will join third-year man Connor Cook behind Carr on the depth chart.

New head coach Jon Gruden loved Cook coming out of the draft, but the Michigan State alum failed to earn the backup job last season and must make a move up the depth chart to kickstart his career.

Manuel has a strong arm and starting experience, making him a steady and solid backup option. He completed 24-of-43 passes for 265 yards, a touchdown and an interception in two games when Carr was hurt.

Johnson might be a camp arm at this point, though he’ll be given a chance to compete this spring and summer.

Carr has been hurt for at least a small stretch in each of the last two seasons. Having Manuel in that spot might offer stability.

Gruden addressed last year’s backup quarterbacks last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Gruden on Manuel: “I think EJ is a young, talented guy,” Gruden said. “He’s been in the facility working out on his own every day. There is a bright upside to him, too, as a young quarterback to keep working with. He’s a free agent, but the Philadelphia Eagles proved that’s a pretty damn important position, isn’t it? Right? So we have to address that and see where we are.”

Gruden on Cook: “I am kind of surprised Connor hasn’t played in two years, other than the playoff game he got in as a rookie. After Derek got hurt last year, they turned the ball to EJ. I don’t know where Connor Cook is. I am frustrated right now that I can’t spend any time with him, but, April 9th (when the Raiders offeseason program starts) will be an exciting day for me and Connor Cook.”

Raiders sign tackle Breno Giacomini


Raiders sign tackle Breno Giacomini

The Raiders need help at right tackle, the lone vacancy along their offensive line. They signed a veteran presence on Thursday afternoon, adding 32-year old Breno Giacomini as the frontrunner to join the starting five.

He has 86 starts in 94 career games, and has been a full-time starter three of the last four years. Giacomini spent 2017 in Houston and the previous three seasons with the New York Jets.

He was a Seattle Seahawk before that, working with Raiders offensive line coach Tom Cable for three of his four years there. Cable gave Giacomini his first chance to start in the second half of 2011, and held the post through 2012.

The bond between the two is clearly strong, considering what Giacomini tweeted shortly after Cable got fired in Seattle.

Coach and player will reunite, hoping to provide steadiness on the right side of the Raiders offensive line.

He’ll compete for a starting spot with Vadal Alexander, second-year pros David Sharpe and Jylan Ware and possibly a drafted player. Giacomini should be considered the favorite unless the Raiders use an early pick on an offensive lineman.

Giacomini has plenty of starts, but his Pro Football Focus numbers aren’t pretty. The analytics says he allowed nine sacks, eight quarterback hits and 64 pressures with Houston last year. He had some decent years under Cable, and a return to that form might push him into the starting lineup for good. Time will tell on that front.