By: Will Burchfield
In the span of one week, Raiders’ quarterback Connor Cook has risen from third-stringer to starter.
According to Ian Rapoport, the rookie out of Michigan State is expected to make his first career start on Saturday when the Raiders take on the Texans in the first round of the NFL playoffs.
Cook made his NFL debut on Sunday versus the Broncos, after resident starter Matt McGloin went down in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. Cook completed 14 of 21 passes for 150 yards including one touchdown, one interception and one lost fumble.
“I thought I made some good throws,” Cook said, via The Mercury News.“Obviously put the ball on the ground too many times and I gave them one with the interception. But it’s a learning experience. We’re going to put this behind us and focus on next week.”
Cook was elevated to backup QB after Derek Carr broke his leg in Week 16 versus the Colts. The MSU product sounds ready for whatever lies ahead.
“I’m going to do what I’ve been doing all year,” Cook added. “Even when I was inactive, I was still watching the film, still studying the game plan, still going over everything. My reads, my hots, all that. It’s not going to change anything for me. I’m going to still prep as if I’m playing. It doesn’t matter if I’m backup, starter or whatever, I’m still going to prep.”
As Rapoport points out, a playoff showdown between Connor Cook’s Raiders and Brock Osweiler’s Texans wasn’t on anyone’s radar entering the season. A year ago today, Cook was licking his wounds in East Lansing after a 38-0 beating at the hands of Alabama in the Cotton Bowl and Osweiler was playing for the Broncos.
Cook was drafted by the Raiders in the fourth round (100th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.