ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Quarterback Terrelle Pryor was the one with a concussion, but in a career sense, Matt Flynn has fallen and he can't get up.
With Pryor returning to start for the Raiders on Sunday night against the San Diego Chargers, Flynn discovered Wednesday he was dropped to third string behind undrafted rookie Matt McGloin.
"Listen, it is what it is," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "It hasn't worked out like we anticipated, and we've got to make decisions and we've got to move forward. (Flynn is) going to continue to battle and scratch and claw, and I still believe that he's a capable quarterback, but we're going to give McGloin a chance."
The Raiders acquired Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks to replace Carson Palmer as the starting quarterback, giving up a fifth-round draft pick in 2014 and a conditional pick in 2015. Oakland restructured his contract, giving him $6.5 million guaranteed this season.
Flynn practiced with the first team all through training camp, but after Flynn had a poor performance in the third preseason game against the Chicago Bears and endured some shaky practice sessions, Pryor received his shot and won the job.
The scenario, with Flynn battling elbow tendinitis, was remarkably similar to what transpired in Seattle, when he arrived in free agency from the Green Bay Packers as the presumptive starter, only to be beaten out by Russell Wilson.
Flynn got his chance to start for Oakland against the Washington Redskins last week and fared miserably. The Raiders had a 14-0 lead after an early 18-yard touchdown pass to Mychal Rivera, but Oakland failed to score on its final 12 possessions, doing no better than a missed 52-yard field goal attempt by Sebastian Janikowski.
There was a momentum-shifting interception that Washington's David Amerson returned 45 yards for a touchdown, a lost fumble, and another fumble on fourth-and-1 that gave the Redskins possession.
Flynn was sacked seven times, and only on a couple of occasions was it because of a fierce initial rush. Flynn seemed indecisive and unable to locate open receivers.
McGloin was a roster surprise after beating out fourth-round draft pick Tyler Wilson, who is currently on the Raiders' practice squad. Now, McGloin is a snap away from leading an NFL team, and he is backing up a starter who likes to run and is coming off a concussion.
"I like what Matt brings to the table as far as his competitiveness," Allen said. "He's got some moxie to him. He just understands the game, and I don't think it's too big for him. He's smart, throws an accurate ball and has good arm strength."
McGloin knows something about adversity after enduring a career at Penn State that included the child sex abuse case of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and the death of former head coach Joe Paterno.
"Not too many people go through something like that," McGloin said. "I've seen it all. In a way, it's helped me at this level. I'm still in touch with our head coach and my quarterbacks coach there, and they're constantly helping me."
Pryor called McGloin "a sharp kid, very bright in terms of football," and likes his work ethic.
"If he wasn't taking reps, he was doing (work) in the back on his own," Pryor said. "He's a type of guy you want to have on your team that wants to get better."
Although Pryor resisted when Allen held him out of the Washington game for precautionary reasons even though he was medically cleared after his concussion, he no longer questions the decision.
"I definitely could have played, but the main thing was the Raiders took very cautious steps with me," Pryor said. "It was a short turnaround from Monday to Sunday. It was pretty much five days to get the rest.
"They were looking out for my best interest and decided it would be best if I didn't play."