Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor may not start against the Washington Redskins on Sunday despite being cleared to play, ESPN.com reported. Although Pryor is cleared for full contact, the Raiders have decided to take extra steps to ensure Pryor’s health, giving backup Matt Flynn most of the first-team reps during practice. “I’m going to make the right decision based on [Pryor’s] health,” head coach Dennis Allen said to ESPN. “The key is that both him and Matt Flynn have both prepared this week to start.”
Pryor said he feels “100 percent” just days after suffering from a concussion during Monday night’s game in Denver – afterwards he tweeted that he didn’t remember much. “I’m going to study these next couple days real hard as though I will be starting,” Pryor said to ESPN. “I believe in my ability, and I always think I’m the best player on the field … Whatever [Allen] picks is going to be in the best interest of the team … Whatever [decision] he makes, I’m not going to be mad.”
It’s fantastic the Raiders coaches are taking extra precautions, but the situation sounds a bit too familiar e.g. Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. Granted concussions are very serious and it has only been a few days, but Pryor has passed all of the NFL’s concussion protocols and feels he can play. Allen won’t say who his starter will be until game day. The last thing the Raiders, or any team for that matter, need is a quarterback controversy.
Perhaps the Raiders coaches feel they can allow Pryor one extra week to heal because they believe Flynn would be able to run their offense well against a Redskins defense ranked nearly at the bottom of bothpassing and rushing yards allowed. While the Redskins defense overall is not performing well, it does have two very good sack artists in Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo. Considering the Raiders offensive line’s inability to protect Flynn during the preseason, there is little reason to believe it can during the regular season.
All things considered, Pryor should start against Washington this Sunday. Allen has said on record that he likes this team very much and has big expectations for this season. Giving the Redskins its first win of the season and falling to 1-3 would be a huge setback.