By Steve Corkran
Thursday, November 14th, 2013 at 12:20 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Terrelle Pryor is back at practice today, which increases the chances of Pryor starting against the Houston Texans.
Time will tell, of course. For now, at least there’s hope, whereas Wednesday there was little more than uncertainty after Pryor sat out because of lingering soreness as a result of his MCL sprain in his right knee.
Rookie Matt McGloin worked with the first-team offense in the early part of practice, with Pryor taking reps with the backups. Always tough to tell what that means at this stage of a game week.
If McGloin still is taking reps with the first-team Friday, then it’s far more likely that he is going to start Sunday. Best guess is, coach Dennis Allen will have a pretty fair idea of whether Pryor is healthy enough to go Sunday by the end of today’s practice.
From afar, Pryor looked fine. He didn’t seem to be favoring his knee at all. He was able to plant that leg and throw with plenty of velocity.
Then again, Pryor isn’t running at full speed on the practice field, with a slew of defenders chasing him around. So, that’s where Allen and offensive coordinator Greg Olson earn their money, projecting off what they see on the practice field.
– Running back Darren McFadden isn’t on the practice field once again, which makes it unlikely that he will play Sunday.
He still is hampered by the hamstring injury that he suffered against the Eagles. Therefore, it appears as if you’re going to get a steady diet of Rashad Jennings on Sunday.
That’s not such a bad thing, given Jennings has averaged 95 yards rushing and 45 yards receiving the past two games. Allen said Jennings has “earned his touches” and McFadden’s return won’t change that mind-set.
– Jared Veldheer, Andre Gurode and Tony Pashos are on the practice field today and going through the paces.
Of note, Pashos is working at right offensive tackle, with rookie Menelik Watson working with the backups. It’s unclear whether Allen will go with Pashos or Watson on Sunday, if both are healthy. Pashos began the season as the starter. Watson started last Sunday.
Veldheer’s presence at practice is noteworthy because it means his surgically repaired triceps held up well Wednesday and that he is making progress toward a return to game action.
Veldheer hasn’t played in a game all season. He practiced for the first time Wednesday. The Raiders are two days into a 21-day window in which they have to decide whether to activate Veldheer or place him on season-ending injured reserve.
– Linebacker Miles Burris and kicker Sebastian Janikowski are at practice and taking part in drills. The same can’t be said for wide receiver Juron Criner and cornerback D.J. Hayden, who aren’t cleared to practice.