The Las Vegas Raiders have decided to bench starting quarterback Derek Carr in favor of Jarrett Stidham for the final two games of the season, according to Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels.
The move is intended to allow the team to evaluate their younger players at multiple positions.
Stidham, a 2019 fourth-round draft pick, will make his first career start on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. In three games this season, he has completed 8 of 13 passes for 72 yards.
The Raiders plan to use undrafted rookie free agent Chase Garbers as the backup quarterback against the 49ers, meaning that Carr will be inactive. Prior to this decision, Carr had started 91 consecutive regular-season games for the Raiders.
The decision to consider replacing Carr as the starting quarterback comes after he threw nine interceptions in the Raiders’ past five games, during which he completed only 57% of his passes.
Despite this, the Raiders won three of those games and, with a record of 6-9, are still technically in contention for a playoff spot. On Monday, McDaniels stated that the Raiders need to “throw the ball better” in order to be successful.
Carr signed a three-year extension with the Raiders in April, but the team would incur a cap hit of only $5.625 million if they release him before mid-February, when his $32.9 million salary for 2023 and $7.5 million of his 2024 salary become fully guaranteed.
Currently, these amounts are only guaranteed for injury until three days after the Super Bowl.