Garoppolo has been demoted from the starting quarterback role, with Las Vegas interim head coach Antonio Pierce announcing Wednesday that Aidan O'Connell will serve as the team's new top signal-caller beginning with Sunday's game against the Giants, Rachel Gossen of the Raiders' official site reports. "We just feel like he gives us the best chance," Pierce said of O'Connell.
After being appointed as the interim coach following the firing of Josh McDaniels earlier in the day, Pierce didn't wait long to make his first major personnel change. Pierce didn't clarify whether Garoppolo or Brian Hoyer will serve as the No. 2 quarterback Week 9, but the 3-5 Raiders appear set to give the rookie O'Connell an extended evaluation in what's shaping up to be a non-contending season. Garoppolo's move down the depth chart comes after he turned in a dismal performance in his return from a one-game absence due to a back injury in a 26-14 loss to the Lions on Monday, when he completed just 10 of 21 pass attempts for 126 yards and an interception while also taking six sacks. Despite missing two of the Raiders' eight games -- he also sat out Week 4 due to a concussion -- Garoppolo leads the NFL with nine interceptions at the halfway point of the season and has regressed mightily from an efficiency standpoint over his past three starts, completing just 62.2 percent of his passes for 6.7 yards per attempt. Garoppolo signed a three-year deal with the Raiders in the offseason that contains $33.75 million guaranteed, but Las Vegas could look to move on from him by next March, when he'll be due a $11.25 million bonus if he's still on the roster on the fifth day of the new league year, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.