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Josh McDaniels: Our plan was always to go with three QBs

Raiders rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell played so well in the preseason that some wondered if he’d jumped veteran Brian Hoyer to be Las Vegas’ backup behind Jimmy Garoppolo.

At least based on the team’s initial 53-man roster, that did not turn out to be the case as both Hoyer and O’Connell remain on the roster.

“[The plan] was to go with three [QBs], and not for any specific reason other than we felt like we had three guys that were capable of being roster players,” McDaniels said this week, via Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “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.”

With the new rule that allows teams to have a designated emergency third quarterback as long as that player is on the 53-man roster, it makes sense for Las Vegas to have all three around. While McDaniels said Hoyer and O’Connell will both have to be ready on gameday, it seems likely that Hoyer will serve as the No. 2 for game situations.

“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.”

In three preseason games, O’Connell completed 69 percent of his passes for 482 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions — good for a 108.4 passer rating. It stands to reason that if Garoppolo goes down for a stretch of time, the Raiders might want to see what they have in the rookie fourth-round pick.