With starting quarterback Carson Palmer out for Sunday's final game against the San Diego Chargers, the Oakland Raiders split the first team reps evenly between quarterbacks Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor at Wednesday's practice. Palmer left last week after a big hit injured his ribs. He was evaluate at a hospital and released. Oakland will continue to evaluate both quarterbacks throughout the practice week before settling on a starter.
“It was evenly split,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said of the quarterback reps. “Both of them looked pretty good. They had a good day out here and both of them got reps with the ones. We’ll continue to monitor it as we go through the week and we’ll make a decision at the end of the week which way we want to go.”
When Palmer left last week, Leinart was inserted into the game for the vast majority of playing time. He threw for only 115 yards and one interception. Although it was a difficult circumstance to be thrown into, Leinart had minimal success. After the game Allen did not believe Pryor was ready to be a back-up, but after watching the film and Wednesday's practice, he conceded that both have the chance to start Sunday.
“When we get a chance to sit down and evaluate where we’re at, I think obviously, we got a chance to see what Matt could do, and we might need to see a little more of Terrelle,” Allen said.
No matter who is chosen to start the game, there is a good chance both quarterbacks will see playing time. The fact that neither player has played much this season will affect the play calling and the diversity of plays they are able to execute.
“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 full command of the offense,” Allen said. “So yeah, I’d think we’d be scaled back a little bit with each other quarterbacks that we’d play.”
With the scaled back offense, the Raiders must get running back Darren McFadden involved and productive. It has been a struggle for the offense to run the ball successfully for most of the year. With two quarterbacks that have played so little, the running game will be the key to get them comfortable and allow them the opportunity to make plays.
“Well we certainly want to get Darren going and we haven’t really been able to get it on track on a consistent basis,” Allen said. “We’ve had a few games where we’ve been able to do something, but on a consistent basis, we hadn’t been able to do that. Like I said before, that’s not a one-man show, that’s the whole operation. We have to be able to block better; we’ve got to be able to run it better and then be able to execute in the passing game which opens up some of the run game options.”
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