Terrelle Pryor or Matt Leinart is expected to start at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders at the San Diego Chargers in the team’s season finale on Sunday now that Carson Palmer is hurt.
Palmer got hurt during the team’s Week 16 loss to the Carolina Panthers and is out with cracked ribs and a bruised lung. Raiders head coach Dennis Allen says Palmer was in the hospital for observation after the team returned to Oakland Sunday night, and that he is out for the game.
Leinart was 3-for-3 for 31 yards passing in place of Palmer on Sunday. Pryor completed a pass, caught a pass, and ran for two yards in his action.
“I think we’ll stick with Matt and Terrelle for this week,” Allen said Monday. “We’ll get both those guys reps in practice with the first-team this week.”
Allen wants to see how the two perform in practice during the week before naming a starter.
“We’re not ready to make that decision. Our plan is to work both of them this week and then we’ll see how practice goes. Later in the week we’ll be ready to name a starter.”
Allen said that he thought Pryor “did a nice job” on the three plays he had against Carolina. He also called Pryor a work in progress, and indicated the second-year player may not be ready to lead the team.
“I think he’s still a work in progress,” Allen said of Pryor. “He’s worked extremely hard in practice. I don’t know that he has full command of everything that we’re doing, but I wouldn’t expect a lot different out of any other young quarterback. He’s got to continue to work, and he’s done a nice job.”
Allen did cite Pryor’s athleticism as an intriguing factor.
Based on what the coach was saying Monday, if I had to make a guess, I’d say Leinart will probably start the game, with Pryor still seeing plenty of action. What unfolds at practice during the week could change that. If I were Oakland, I would just give Pryor a shot. You know Leinart is only a second-string QB in the league, so why not give Pryor some game experience to see what he can do?
Below is video of Allen’s comments on Monday:
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