Marcus Mariota is arguably the greatest quarterback to ever don the Oregon Ducks uniform. He led to Ducks to the National Title game and earned the first Heisman Trophy in program history.
That success earned him the No.2 overall pick by the Tennessee Titans in 2015.
Mariota showed flashes of brilliance but also struggled at times with the Titans, prompting Tennesse to show its hand early last season. The Titans benched Mariota after just six games, promoting Ryan Tannehill to starter.
The writing was on the wall, and Mariota signed with the Raiders in the offseason.
Unfortunately for Mariota, the new start hasn't gone off without a hitch.
He was expected to push starting quarterback Derek Carr for the No.1 spot, but instead, the former Duck has found himself on the IR list.
Little is known about the injury, as the Raiders don't have to release that information, but we can say that Mariota was not damaged goods.
While he did have known injuries when he arrived in Las Vegas, they were minor and the team expected him to be helped by a full camp. That camp didn't help him, it may have hurt him more.
“I’m not going to get into all of what we know and didn’t know,” Gruden told the media. “We knew he had some injuries. This injury is not related to the injuries that he had. We felt like he’d be ready to go with a good, solid training camp. He was off to a good start. This is a setback for him and for us. We’re excited when we can get him back. He can still play.”
It is worthy of noting that quarterbacks are non-contact participants in practice, meaning the injury to Mariota didn't happen due to contact. I could have happened in the weight room, during throwing drills, or simply due to the added strain for the shoulder injury he was previously dealing with.
That is all speculation, what is known is that the Raiders will be without their backup quarterback for at least the next three weeks.
Hopefully he gets healthy, bounces back soon, and gets the fresh restart he deserves.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest former Oregon football running back LeGarrette Blount].