Raiders place backup QB Mariota on IR before season opener

Marcus Mariota
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The Raiders placed backup quarterback Marcus Mariota on injured reserve Monday, leaving Nathan Peterman as Derek Carr's understudy on the roster heading into Sunday's season opener against the Carolina Panthers.

Mariota has been "severely limited" in practices by a strained pectoral, NFL Media's Ian Rapaport reported Monday afternoon.

The Raiders signed Mariota, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, as a free agent this offseason, making him the league's highest-paid backup QB. General manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden spoke highly of the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, with Mayock "hoping to rebuild" Mariota "and get his confidence back."

The Athletic's Vic Tafur wrote last week that Mariota wasn't very sharp in training camp and presented "no threat" to Carr's role as the starter. Still, Mariota has started 61 regular-season games and five in the playoffs, and the Raiders don't have nearly as much experience behind Carr with Peterman as the No. 2.

Peterman, 26, has only appeared in eight regular-season games and started four. In those starts with the Buffalo Bills, Peterman completed just 51.6 percent of his passes and threw one touchdown along with 10 interceptions. He has not played in an NFL game since starting for Buffalo on Nov. 4, 2018.

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Mariota will have to miss at least three games under the NFL's new IR rules, so he could back up Carr sooner rather than later. But with their high-priced insurance policy on the mend, the Raiders will have to rely on Peterman to back up Carr.


In a corresponding move, the Raiders signed DeShone Kizer to the practice squad. Kizer was on the Raiders' roster last season, but he was waived earlier this year after Mariota signed with the Silver and Black.