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Pryor still sidelined; Flynn practices with starters

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ALAMEDA, Calif. -- A concussion sustained by Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor won't fundamentally change the way the team plays the position, according to Raiders coach Dennis Allen.

But it could change the identity of the quarterback facing the Washington Redskins Sunday.

At practice Wednesday, Matt Flynn was working with the first team while Pryor was not present, presumably because he did not yet clear the NFL-mandated protocol for concussion victims.

Pryor took a helmet-to-helmet blow from Wesley Woodyard in the tackle box Monday night, and two plays later left the game. He was diagnosed with a concussion and will need to go through the NFL mandated protocol before he can play again. That leaves Flynn, for the time being, preparing to start Sunday against the Washington Redskins at Coliseum.

"We're playing the game," Allen said. "If you're going to put him in there you have to play the game. You have to call the game that gives him the best chance for success. I don't have any problem with what he did. It's unfortunate that he took that hit. But we have to move on."

The question is pertinent because of this week's opponent.

Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III rushed for 814 yards on 120 carries last season before being sidelined with a knee injury. Griffin also ran read-option plays and often put himself in harm's way.

Griffin began to show some of his old running skills in Week 3, a loss to the Detroit Lions.

Griffin said he has to play with more fear, but he also needs to be more careful.

"You go out there and you play with no fear. That's the best way to stay healthy," Griffin said on a conference call. "You don't go out there trying to avoid things. The highlight-reel hits that can happen when you can escape the pocket, I try to limit those, not only for myself but for my team. They don't need me to go out there and do that kind of stuff.

"I don't take those kinds of hits like I had in the past. But you still go out there and make plays."

Following a Week 1 win over the Indianapolis Colts, during which Pryor rushed for 112 yards, he promised to be smarter about taking on collisions. But he also said in the heat of competition, "I won't lie. I might forget."

Pryor leads the Raiders with 198 yards rushing, the highest figure through three games among NFL quarterbacks.

The Raiders found themselves defending their handling of the Pryor concussion when Fox Sports and ESPN said the NFLPA was looking into whether the Raiders followed the proper protocol because Pryor as on the field for two plays after being hit.

"Football is a tough sport and there's going to be collisions." Allen said. "You try to do everything you can to make sure that you're taking into account player safety. I think our medical people followed the protocol that's set forth by the NFL.

"They followed it exactly how it's supposed to be followed. When we determined he had a concussion we got him out of the game."

An NFLPA spokesman declined comment regarding the Raiders case but said, "We routinely monitor and review concussion cases throughout the season. Every concussion is important."

Pryor said he thought Woodyard should be fined for the helmet-to-helmet hit, even though the hit was legal because Pryor was still in the tackle box.

"It was a legal hit," Allen said.

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