After missing more than two weeks of practice due to a calf injury, quarterback Jeff Garcia returned to practice six days ago — and he made his preseason debut for the Raiders last night.
Playing against the team with which he started his NFL career, Garcia entered the game late in the first half, for a two-minute drill against the 49ers.
Raiders coach Tom Cable discussed after the game the decision to pull starter JaMarcus Russell for the final drive of the second quarter.
“We do [the two-minute drill] so much in practice he’s had it,” Cable said in comments distributed by the 49ers. “Jeff hasn’t. It’s really just the fact that that we wanted to make sure that we had Jeff in the first half. The situation didn’t really matter to me, I just wanted to stay with what the plan was.”
Garcia completed three of six passes. (One of the incompletions came on a clock-killing spike.) After driving the Raiders more than 30 yards from the Oakland 40, Garcia threw a ball that was picked off inside the ten.
Russell, on the other hand, completed seven of eleven throws for 76 yards and a score. So if Garcia plans to make good on his declaration that he’s not a backup quarterback, he needs to step it up, quickly.