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QB carousel: Raiders, 'Skins latest to make change at position

Carson Palmer's transition to becoming the starting quarterback in Oakland isn't going to be a slow-moving process. The fact that the Raiders gave up a first-round pick in 2012 and a conditional first-rounder in 2013 screams of urgency that could have Palmer on the field as early as Sunday when Oakland takes on Kansas City.

Eyeing a playoff spot, Oakland made this move to shore up the quarterback spot after Jason Campbell's collarbone injury and to keep the window of opportunity open.

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The turnover at quarterback in Oakland stemmed from necessity, but it also falls in line with a hard-to-ignore trend throughout the NFL: The Raiders are the eighth team to change QBs this season.

This weekend, Palmer or Kyle Boller will join Christian Ponder (Vikings), John Beck (Washington) and Tim Tebow (Denver) on the growing list of quarterbacks getting their chances to start -- either because of injury or, in most cases, because the other guys weren't cutting it.

The turnover at the game's most important position has been staggering -- and we're not even at the season's midway point. Let's examine some of the moves at quarterback and see where things could be headed.

Washington: Mike Shanahan has made the change from Rex Grossman to Beck. Unlike some teams that switched QBs, the Redskins are still in contention. However, Grossman has shown signs of being more of a liability than an asset and clinging to hope was deemed to be worse than rolling the dice on Beck. This was a tough call. Grossman and Beck could be interchangeable, and Shanahan is one of the few coaches in position to platoon the tandem.

Denver: Tebow makes his debut this week in Miami at a University of Florida homecoming game. The pomp, circumstance and a bad opponent could lead to a grand start. But for Tebow, it's more about showing if he's the long-term answer. No young quarterback has more to prove -- to management -- than Tebow. Even if he plays well, John Elway and John Fox might need some serious convincing before they fully commit to Tebow.

Minnesota: Ponder gets to make his debut against the undefeated Packers. Nice. Donovan McNabb wasn't the problem, but he's also not the answer. After the season, the roster will be dismantled and the rebuilding process begins. The Vikes are now a few years away from being a few years away. You just hope Adrian Peterson doesn't end up being Steven Jackson -- a player whose best years are spent waiting for the rest of the team to get better.

Jacksonville: Luke McCown gave way to Blaine Gabbert, who is playing like a wet-behind-the-ears rookie, unlike Cam Newton and Andy Dalton. Gabbert likely will be playing in a new system with a different coaching staff next season.

Miami: Chad Henne got hurt, and Matt Moore isn't awful. But the team is. Andrew Luck is on deck.

Indianapolis: Kerry Collins did not play well, while Curtis Painter has shown some flashes of being decent. Indy could very well be in the running for Luck when it's all said and done, even if Peyton Manning tries to play at the end of the season. The holes in this team have been exposed.

Seattle: Tarvaris Jackson, then Charlie Whitehurst, and neither is the future. That player is still in college -- especially now that Palmer, once seriously linked to the Seahawks, is off the market.

Other than injuries, it's hard to see any more quarterback changes this season. If things get sideways in Tennessee, the Titans could get rookie Jake Locker on the field, but the movement under center seems all but exhausted.

Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89

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