Raiders’ Leinart Unlikely To Play Against Lions
Sports Fan Insider
NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Raiders backup quarterback Matt Leinart is OK to play after injuring the index finger on his non-throwing hand but still might be held out of Saturday’s game against the Detroit Lions.
Leinart, who received stitches in his finger after being knocked out by an illegal hit by Arizona’s Ricky Lumpkin last week, attended practice Wednesday but did not participate in any team or positional drills.
The Raiders (tied for No. 23 in the AP Pro32) said Leinart also passed a series of tests to determine whether he suffered a concussion from the jarring hit.
“He’s fine to play,” Oakland coach Dennis Allen said. “Whether we play him or not, I don’t know the answer to that yet. That will be a game time decision.”
Leinart wore a thick white bandage on his finger but showed no other outward effects from the hit while throwing passes on the side during a period when the remaining three Raiders quarterbacks practiced throws and handoffs.
Allen noted that Leinart could wear protection around his finger if the team decides to play him against the Lions.
“The biggest adjustment will be handoffs,” Allen said. “But we feel like we’ve got a splint that we can put on where it won’t be an issue.”
Carson Palmer continued to take reps with the starters while Terrelle Pryor replaced Leinart with the second team offense. Kyle Newhall-Caballero, an undrafted rookie from Brown, worked as the No.3.
Pryor welcomed the additional work after spending the past three weeks behind Palmer and Leinart.
The former Ohio State star missed nearly all of training camp a year ago, sat out the first five games serving an NFL suspension, then spent the rest of the season primarily running the scout team in practice for the defense.
“The biggest problem I had the first two games was my time management, getting in and out of the huddle,” Pryor said. “I don’t have a lot of reps so I can’t really get used to the clock. I’m sitting down after I got hit and I’m just relaxing on the ground and then I’m rushing up and it’s like 5 (seconds), 4 and I have to snap the ball fast.
“I’ve been getting better. I’ve been getting the guys out of the huddle at about 25 seconds. The tempo has to be fast like that. I think there will be a big improvement Saturday when it’s my time to play.”
Pryor played four series in Oakland’s first preseason game against Dallas, completing 8 of 15 passes for 90 yards with an interception. He replaced Leinart late in the third quarter of the Arizona game and completed 2 of 3 throws.
“The biggest thing is getting reps,” Pryor said. “If you’re playing in a game and you’re getting plays that you’re not repping, it’s tough.”
Wide receivers Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore, center Stefen Wisniewski, tight end Richard Gordon and linebacker Aaron Curry also did not practice because of injuries. Defensive lineman Richard Seymour also rested but is not hurt.
Ford, who was hurt after catching a 9-yard pass from Palmer in the first quarter against the Cardinals, wore a walking boot while watching practice.
Wisniewski has not practiced since injuring his calf against the Cowboys on Aug. 13 and is doubtful to play this week.
“If we were in the regular season, could he push through and play? Probably, maybe,” Allen said. “I don’t know. We’re not going to take that chance right now in a preseason game.”
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