The Raiders are 72 hours or so away from their regular-season finale against the San Diego Chargers. As each day passes, it becomes more and more apparent that defensive tackle Richard Seymour, right guard Mike Brisiel and strong safety Tyvon Branch won’t be able to play, at least at full strength.
All three missed practice today, which makes it likely that Seymour will miss an eighth straight game, Brisiel will be replaced by rookie Tony Bergstrom and Branch might give way to Mike Mitchell rather than risk further injury to his sore ankle.
Branch has played the past two games on the sore ankle, though he wasn’t able to finish the game against the Carolina Panthers last Sunday.
— Quarterback Carson Palmer turned 33 today and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly hit 32.
Palmer won’t play Sunday as a result of the fractured ribs and bruised lung he suffered against the Panthers. He was spotted driving away from the team facility as practice started.
Coach Dennis Allen said Palmer also won’t accompany the team to San Diego because of the danger inherent in flying with a bruised lung.
— Quarterbacks Terrelle Pryor and Matt Leinart are splitting reps at practice in light of Palmer’s absence. It remains uncertain which player will start Sunday.
Allen said Pryor and Leinart split the reps evenly at practice Wednesday, though Pryor made it sound as if Leinart received the majority of the snaps.
“Matt started with the first team for a good bit, and I was getting like the last two or three snaps,” Pryor said. “Not much but more than I was. I’m happy about it. It’s an opportunity and I’m looking forward to it.”
Leinart last started a game Nov. 27, 2011, when he was with the Houston Texans. He suffered a broken collarbone in that game and missed the remainder of the season.
Pryor, of course, has not started a game during his two NFL seasons. He has appeared in three games, with six snaps altogether.