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With Palmer out, Pryor could start

The SportsXchange

Carson Palmer was ruled out of the season finale against the San Diego Chargers with cracked ribs and a punctured lung Monday.

A day after coach Dennis Allen said Terrelle Pryor wasn't ready to be the backup quarterback, there's at least a possibility he could be the starter.

Allen said backup Matt Leinart and Pryor would both get first-team reps and a decision would be made as to the starter late in the week. There are no plans to bring in a third quarterback.

"I think we'll stick with Matt and Terrelle," Allen said.

Support has mounted from a fan base that's never seen Pryor at practice, and Allen was blunt following a 17-6 loss to Carolina about why Leinart subbed for Palmer.

"Matt's our backup quarterback," Allen said Sunday. "Terrelle's done a nice job. He's working extremely hard. We don't feel like he's ready to be the backup quarterback yet."

Leinart (16-for-32, 115 yards, one interception) was shaky enough that Allen, when asked if he would start Pryor against San Diego said, "Yeah, we'll look at it."

After a three-and-out series in a stint against Kansas City, the Raiders instead used Pryor in specific situations in a formation where he took a shotgun snap with the quarterback (Carson Palmer for one play, Leinart for two) split wide.

The coaching staff simply doesn't feel good enough about Pryor as an every-down quarterback who could manage a game.

"I think I could have played better, definitely could have made more plays," Leinart said. "I thought we moved the ball pretty well. We just have to get touchdowns. But there were some throws I would like to have back."

Pryor wanted no part of challenging the coaching staff about his use.

"Not the coach," Pryor said. "I definitely don't make decisions like that. I don't talk much, I just go out and do my job. Whatever God has for me, it's going to happen. If not, I'll be fine."

Palmer was checked out at a Charlotte hospital and given a CT-scan before taking the team charter. He was then hospitalized overnight and released Monday.
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