The Las Vegas Raiders placed backup quarterback Marcus Mariota on injured reserve, the club announced on Sunday. Mariota, who has been dealing with a strained pectoral muscle, will be eligible to return in three weeks. The Raiders also signed DeShone Kizer, who was claimed by the team last September before being waved in May, was signed to the practice squad.
With Mariota out, Nathan Peterman will be Derek Carr's primary backup entering the Raiders' Week 1 matchup against the Panthers. Peterman, a 2017 fifth-round pick who made four starts during his two seasons with the Bills, has been with the Raiders since December of 2018. Peterman enjoyed a solid 2019 preseason before he was placed on injured reserve after sustaining an elbow injury.
Instead of using one of their two first-round picks on a quarterback, the Raiders instead decided to select former Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs III with the 12th overall pick and former Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette with the 19th overall pick. Las Vegas also went out and signed Mariota to back up Carr, who is coming off of a 2019 season that saw him complete a career-high 70.4% of his passes.
Mariota is coming off a 2019 season where he was stripped of his starting job with the Tennessee Titans in place of Ryan Tannehill. In the seven games (six starts) he did play this season, Mariota owned a 2-4 record and completed just 59.4% of his throws for 1,203 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions. He also fumbled three times. What exacerbated Mariota's struggles in Tennessee this year was the almost instant success that Tannehill had as he took them all the way to the AFC championship and led the entire NFL in quarterback rating.
Despite those struggles in 2019, Mariota is still only 26 years old, so there is a chance that a change of scenery could do him some good and possibly help him tap back into his potential. After all, he isn't too far removed from a 2018 season where he completed nearly 70% of his passes.