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Terrelle Pryor 'a work in progress' for Oakland Raiders

  • By Kevin Patra
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The Oakland Raiders will wrap up their 10th consecutive season without a winning record Sunday when they visit the San Diego Chargers.

With Carson Palmer out with cracked ribs and a bruised lung, the starting quarterback position will fall to either career backup Matt Leinart or sophomore Terrelle Pryor. Coach Dennis Allen said the determination will be made later this week.

During his Monday news conference Allen undersold Pryor, whom many Raiders fans would like to see given an opportunity.

"He's still a work in progress as far as that's concerned," Allen said, noting Pryor doesn't have full command of the offense, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. "I wouldn't expect a lot different out of any other young quarterback."

The Raiders selected Pryor in the third round of the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft, but according to Allen, Pryor is still fighting the same question marks that surrounded him when he left college.

Allen said Pryor needs to work on his fundamentals, including "his footwork in the passing game, going through his reads, going through his progressions."

Given his comments Allen must feel the pressure to start Pryor in Sunday's game, a move he sounds hesitant to make. However, he didn't name Leinart right off the bat, so he's at least considering Pryor.

Of the 17 NFL teams eliminated from the playoffs only the Raiders are stashing a young quarterback, who is still an unknown quantity, on the bench. Every other rookie or young prospect has been given a chance on bad teams with quarterback question marks. Even Greg McElroy started an NFL game this season.

We know what Leinart brings to the table, and while Allen dismissed the quaterback's struggles last week as him dealing with rust, he isn't the long-term answer for the Raiders.

Is Pryor that answer? We'll never find out if he doesn't get a shot. With the season lost and Palmer hurt, we have to wonder if he'll ever get a chance in Oakland if he doesn't get one on Sunday.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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