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ALAMEDA – Terrelle Pryor will be the Raiders starting quarterback for Sunday’s season finale against the Denver Broncos at Oakland Coliseum.
Head coach Dennis Allen made the announcement on Monday in a press conference. He informed Pryor and undrafted rookie Matt McGloin, who started the previous six games, earlier Monday morning.
“We got a chance to see Matt McGloin for six games,” Allen said. “I liked a lot of things that I saw in Matt. It’s been a while since we’ve gotten an opportunity to see Terrelle in a game and I want to get him in the game and get another opportunity to evaluate him.”
Players had the day off Monday, so Pryor and McGloin were not available for comment.
Allen said the switch had nothing to do with McGloin’s recent performance, which has plateaued somewhat after a hot start. Pryor was 3-5 in eight starts before sitting out with a sprained knee Nov. 17 against Houston. McGloin played well in that game and didn’t relinquish the starting job.
McGloin was 1-5 with stats similar to Pryor’s totals. He completion percentage (55.9) was a bit lower, but his passer rating (76.1) and touchdown total (11) is a little higher. Those numbers are lackluster, especially when compared to a three-touchdown performance against the Houston Texans.
McGloin threw four interceptions Dec. 15 against the Kansas City Chiefs and was 20-for-36 for 206 yards and an interception on Sunday at San Diego.
“He wasn’t quite as sharp as he had been in a couple of the earlier games, but I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen out of Matt McGloin from, really, the first moment he walked on campus here,” Allen said. “I think we have a guy that can be in our plans for the future and I’m glad he’s on this football team.”
The Raiders were happy to have Pryor in the early going, when the offensive line was in shambles. Pryor was able to run for his life and keep the Raiders competitive with his athleticism. He got injured twice in nine games, suffering a concussion in Week 3 against Denver and a Grade II MCL sprain in Week 8.
Pryor started the next week against the New York Giants and used his injury to excuse poor play. Pryor regretted that choice, which dropped him out of favor with the coaching staff. It was also the end of a brutal stretch when he threw eight interceptions over four games.
That, as much as anything he said, glued Pryor to the bench. He has a chance to come off of it on Sunday and finish the season on a high note.
Though he wouldn’t commit to Pryor playing all four quarters against Denver, Allen said Pryor would get a long look against the Broncos. Pryor played well against them in Week 3, completing 19-of-28 passes for 281 yards, a touchdown and a 112.4 passer rating.
Pryor has been an accent piece since McGloin took the starting job, playing a series Dec. 8 against the New York Jets and a few plays the following week against the Kansas City Chiefs. Pryor did not play in Sunday’s 26-13 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
“We’ve said for a while now that we want to be able to evaluate Terrelle, so here’s an opportunity to go in and do that,” Allen said. “When Terrelle’s played he’s gone in and done a good job. So we anticipate he’ll go in and play well.”