ALAMEDA – The Raiders don’t know who will start at quarterback Sunday against Washington. If Terrelle Pryor can pass the concussion-related tests mandated by the NFL in time to practice, he should play.
If he can’t, Matt Flynn will start in his place.
Problem is, Flynn for Pryor isn’t a straight swap. The quarterbacks have drastically different styles, and favor different chapters of Greg Olson’s playbook.
The offensive coordinator tailors his game plan to a specific talent, which complicates preparation for the Redskins on Sunday at Oakland Coliseum.
“It’s a little bit of a challenge, but that’s where we’re at and that’s what we’ve got to get ready to do.” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “So, we’ve got to have a game plan if Terrelle’s able to play that he can go in and execute and give us a chance to win. If not, we’ve got to have something in there that gives Matt Flynn a chance to have success. That will be something that we’ll have to work extremely hard on this week to get a good game plan for either scenario.”
Pryor and Flynn have different strengths, but both can run the base offense as it was originally constructed this offseason.
“We haven’t just thrown out the offensive system and changed it,” Allen said. “We’ve added some plays that we feel like lends itself to Terrelle’s skill set but we still have a lot of the same concepts and a lot of the same things that we can do with either quarterback.”
Frontline skill players have experience with both quarterbacks. They played on the first team with Flynn throughout camp and with Pryor over the past month.
-- Allen said the rate of progress on tight end David Ausberry’s injured shoulder led to the team’s decision to place him on injured reserve. Ausberry was expected to be a full-time starter this season, but a separated shoulder in the preseason derailed that prospect. Now he’s done for the year.
“He didn’t progress like we wanted him to,” Allen said. “We were hopeful that he would be able to come back. I don’t know if, mentally, he felt like it was responding the way he wanted it to and we needed it to. We felt like we were at a standstill with him, and we really needed the spot, so we decided to go ahead and make the move.”
Guard Omar Mady was signed off the practice squad in a corresponding move.
-- Allen said fullback Jamize Olawale had an MRI on an ankle injured in Monday’s loss at Denver.