The team plans to start its new quarterback Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported Wednesday, citing team sources.
The Raiders will gauge Palmer's arm strength and health before making a decision, according to La Canfora, but it's clear they're not excited about the idea of starting Kyle Boller with Jason Campbell recovering from surgery on his broken collarbone.
Raiders offensive coordinator Al Saunders hinted to KCSP-AM that Palmer would start, saying the eight-year veteran would be on the field "as long as he's breathing" after Tuesday's expensive trade with the Cincinnati Bengals.
"He walked out on the field yesterday and everybody kind of looked at everybody and said, 'You know what? This is a real quarterback,' " Sanders said Wednesday. "I mean, that was the comment made by a couple people as they just watched him throw," Saunders said. "And, you know, it just depends on how quickly he feels comfortable in what weâre doing and that shouldn't take too long."
NFL.com reporter Jeff Darlington reported from Alameda, Calif., that Palmer's first Raiders practice included several introductions with his new receivers, but it also started with plenty of passing drills, both in individual and team workouts. Palmer received first-team reps after not practicing in nine months.
It's clear that Saunders and Raiders coach Hue Jackson are galvanized by the Palmer acquisition, with Jackson going just a tad overboard Tuesday in calling the affair "the greatest trade in football."
It's hard not to admire the Raiders' verve in snagging what Jackson called "a real big-time franchise quarterback," but it remains to be seen which Palmer shows up this season -- and just how ready he is to advance Oakland's impressive 4-2 start.