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Terrelle Pryor to be Oakland Raiders' QB in 2012 finale

Terrelle Pryor has waited nearly two seasons for a genuine opportunity in the NFL. That opportunity is here.

Raiders coach Dennis Allen announced Friday that Pryor will be Oakland's starting quarterback in the season finale against the San Diego Chargers. That makes Pryor the Raiders' 15th different starting QB since 2003.

Matt Leinart -- who essentially was Tebow'd here -- will be Pryor's backup Sunday with regular starter Carson Palmer injured, and he seemed to take the news in stride.

"The competitor in me wants to play, wants to start, but I do understand that they need to evaluate him, and I get that," Leinart said, via The Associated Press. "Obviously, you're not happy by any means, but at the same time, I'm a team player. ... I'm happy to help."

Leinart is right about the Raiders' need to evaluate Pryor, a third-round pick in the 2011 supplemental draft. He has played sparingly this season, attempting just two passes and one run.

"I'm ready," Pryor said, via Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. "I felt in command in the huddle this week. Am I nervous? Yeah, I'm nervous."

Pryor is an athletic but raw talent who starred at Ohio State before scandal ended his collegiate career. Leinart, who's in his seventh NFL season, struggled in place of Palmer last week against the Carolina Panthers, completing 16 of 32 passes for 115 yards with one interception in a 17-6 loss.

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Leinart is what he is at this point of his career, and the Raiders don't necessarily need to see more of him. Palmer might not even be back next season. Pryor is the unknown entity, and circumstances have conspired to give him what amounts to a four-quarter audition.

"We know what his strengths are, we know what his weaknesses are," Allen said of Pryor, via The AP. "But really, to give him an opportunity to go out in a game, against a division opponent, at their place, and give him a chance to play, it gives us a view into the future."

At the very least, Allen now gave you a reason to watch an otherwise meaningless football game.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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