The Las Vegas Raiders are benching starting quarterback Derek Carr and giving backup Jarrett Stidham a two-game audition to finish the regular season.
Carr, 31, has served as the Raiders’ quarterback since arriving in the second round of the 2014 draft. He started 143 regular season and playoff games along the way, including all 15 of the team’s contests so far this season.
However, the veteran passer has been inconsistent in his first year under new head coach Josh McDaniels. Completing only 60.8 percent of his passes — his lowest mark since his rookie season — Carr has thrown for 3,522 yards with 24 and a league-leading 14 interceptions. Las Vegas is currently 6-9 and on the brink of playoff elimination.
With the team unlikely to make the tournament, McDaniels is now handing the keys over to his backup.
Stidham, 26, joined the league as a fourth-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2019. He saw only irregular action in his three seasons in New England, though, and was eventually traded to Las Vegas this summer. He has seen action in three games as a Raider, completing 8 of 13 passes for 72 yards.
With him set to enter unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career next March, however, Stidham is now facing a golden opportunity to showcase what he can do — either to a Raiders team seemingly willing to move on from Carr next offseason, or for other quarterback-needy organizations around the league.
The Stidham-led Raiders will take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.