Sunday was not a good afternoon for Terrelle Pryor.
Soreness in his knee thanks to an MCL sprain similar to the one Oregon QB Marcus Mariota suffered before Oregon’s loss to Stanford slowed down Pryor. Unable to use the same amount of burst it was clear that Pryor was not the same quarterback and his struggles behind the pocket continued as his recent stretch of games has been well documented this week as the worst stretch from any Raider quarterback besides the infamous JaMarcus Russell.
Post game Pryor was upfront about his knee injury. Saying that the injury got worse in practice and slowed him down significantly. However he did not inform Dennis Allen about the regression of his health prior to the game.
“No, that was never expressed to me,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said to the media during his post-Giants media availability. “But, listen, I watched the game. You could tell that he wasn’t totally 100 percent. So, we just got to go and talk about it. We got to make sure that if he’s healthy enough to go, then he’s up and can go and be effective for us.”
I am here to say that for the best interests of Terrelle Pryor and the Oakland Raiders that Pryor should sit until his knee is fully healed.
Going into a game with a bad offensive line and a clearly hurt Pryor against the Houston Texans pass rush risking further injury makes little sense to a team that is 3-6. Even worse it could completely derail a long project in developing Pryor into a franchise quarterback, something that has been a major talking point of the Raiders 2013 season.
Playing Pryor could hurt the Raiders quarterback’s career if his knee gets further damaged, something that we have saw this season with Washington quarter back Robert Griffin III after the Redskins kept their star mobile quarterback behind center during the 2012 playoffs.
For the Raiders they have no logical reason to play Pryor if they feel his knee is not 100%. It is relatively clear that the Raiders are not going to be making a playoff push and they have a rookie in Matt McGloin who has proven he can at least answer the bell if thrust into action after some very respectable preseason appearances and some solid drives in garbage time against the Philadelphia Eagles.
It was obvious against the Giants that Pryor was hurting and when he did run he had far from the famous bursts of speed we are accustomed to. Keeping him in the game and exposing him to more wear and tear than needed seems unnecessary given the circumstances at this juncture in what is a rebuilding season for the Raiders.
For now Dennis Allen is saying that he will be talking to Pryor throughout the week before the Raiders make a decision, but made no suggestion of Pryor sitting out.
“I’ll sit down and visit with Terrelle more and find out exactly where he is physically,” Allen said. “It wasn’t something we thought would be a big factor going into the game, but obviously it was a factor.”
We know that Pryor will play through the pain to help his team, he is that kind of guy and will tell Allen that he can go. Allen has to weigh the pros and cons before giving Pryor the green light to resume playing on what is a lingering injury after two weeks.
If the Raiders want to protect their young prospect and project under center they will afford him the time to fully heal. If not Dennis Allen is playing with pressing the reset button on Pryor’s development. Risking that for a chance to move to 4-6 seems shortsighted considering the big picture.