Thursday, April 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Raiders uncertain of their starting QB in finale

ALAMEDA — Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen isn’t ready to select a starting quarterback for Sunday’s game in San Diego and said it’s possible that both Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor could play.

Leinart and Pryor shared reps in practice with Oakland’s first-team offense during practice, three days after starter Carson Palmer went out with cracked ribs and a bruised lung after being hit from behind by Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy.

Allen said Wednesday that Leinart and Pryor split the workload during practice, but Pryor later said Leinart took the majority of reps.

“Both of them looked pretty good,” Allen said. “They had a good day out there and both of them got reps with the (starting offense). We’ll continue to monitor it and we’ll make a decision at the end of the week which way we’re going to go.”

Both played in last week’s loss to Carolina after Palmer was hurt, though Pryor was in for only a handful of plays. Leinart completed 16 of 32 for 115 yards. He also threw a momentum-shifting interception just before halftime.

Palmer had started 24 consecutive games for Oakland after being acquired in a midseason trade with Cincinnati in 2011, and his absence leaves a void at quarterback.

Leinart has started just two games since 2007 while Pryor has never started in his two NFL seasons.

While Leinart — the 10th overall pick in 2006 — has more experience than Pryor, Allen noted the Raiders offense would be limited in some capacity no matter who starts.

“I don’t think you’re going to be the same with either quarterback as you would with Carson because Carson’s been getting all the reps and he has the full command of the offense,” Allen said. “So yeah, I would think we’d be scaled back a little bit with either one of those quarterbacks that would play.”

Allen said after the loss to Carolina that Leinart would remain ahead of Pryor on the depth chart, but changed his mind after reviewing film when he decided to keep the competition open.

“We got a chance to see what Matt could do and we might need to see a little bit more of Terrelle,” Allen said. “They’re two totally different quarterbacks. Terrelle obviously is an athletic quarterback that can really do some things on the move. Matt’s a little bit more your prototypical pocket passer. So when you look at those guys you’ve got to take into account those skill sets and what they do well.”

Leinart was unavailable for comment and a team spokesman said the former Heisman Trophy winner won’t talk until Friday.

Pryor, a third-round pick in the 2011 supplemental draft, was just thankful for the extra work in practice after running the scout team for most of the season.

“That two or three snaps I get, I’m happy with it because it’s way more than I was getting,” Pryor said. “Today I thought I did a fairly decent job. I commend Coach Allen and Coach (Greg) Knapp. They knew I wasn’t ready. Still may not be. I’m just trying to work hard. I feel like I’m close.”

Palmer, who will not accompany the team on its flight to San Diego because of his bruised lung, finishes with the second-most yards passing by a Raiders quarterback in a single season.

Notes: The Raiders (4-11) didn’t have a player voted to the Pro Bowl. K Sebastian Janikowski and FB Marcel Reece were selected as alternates. Janikowski has made 31 of 34 attempts, going 25-for-25 on kicks of less than 50 yards. … RG Mike Brisiel (concussion/ankle) was held out of practice. Rookie Tony Bergstrom, a third-round pick, has been practicing in Brisiel’s absence. … S Tyvon Branch (neck/ankle), DT Richard Seymour (knee, hamstring) and CB Phillip Adams (groin) also did not practice.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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