ALAMEDA -- Could there be a Terrelle Pryor sighting Sunday?
He might actually put on a Raiders uniform against the Cleveland Browns at O.co Coliseum, and that would be a start.
"I feel like I haven't played in a year," the team's third-string quarterback said this week.
Pryor was last seen in a game Aug. 30 in the preseason finale against the Seattle Seahawks, completing 6 of 9 passes for 55 yards. The previous week, Pryor did something remarkable in that he made a preseason game memorable.
In a 31-20 win over the Detroit Lions, Pryor completed 3 of 5 passes for 137 yards and touchdown passes of 76 and 39 yards to Juron Criner. He ran the ball five times for 90 yards, including a 59-yard scramble around right end followed by an 18-yard touchdown run.
That's eight plays totaling 227 yards and three TDs, a stunning exhibition of all the athletic skill that made Pryor the last draft pick Al Davis ever made, a third-round supplemental selection out of Ohio State in 2011.
It also made Pryor somewhat of a "people's choice" among a segment of Raider Nation. Those fans aren't overly concerned about the footwork and foundational issues that are being refined on a daily basis by quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.
While coach Dennis Allen is being nonspecific about a role, he has begun to warm to the idea of getting Pryor on the field.
"Somewhere down the
It isn't hard to read between the lines and envision some read-option plays where Pryor could contribute as a runner or receiver. The opportunity would likely be a brief one, and Matt Leinart remains first man off the bench if starter Carson Palmer is injured.
Leinart got the first-team work Thursday when Palmer was limited because of a sore thumb on his passing hand.
"I'm preparing to play," Leinart said. "Terrelle, he might get some stuff where we can use his athletic ability. ... You just keep preparing."
Knapp said the problem with activating Pryor through the first 11 games has been weighing the few plays he'd get as opposed to another player who is needed on special teams and as an injury backup.
Pryor was one of the most sought-after football-basketball recruits in the country as a Pennsylvania high school star. Then he proceeded to go 31-4 as Ohio State's starting quarterback before being embroiled in a memorabilia-for-cash-and-tattoo scandal that led to his early departure from school.
Pryor isn't used to inactivity.
"It's tough, but that's the calling for me right now, so I've got to deal with it," he said.
Knapp and Palmer said Pryor remains attentive during meetings, has a grasp of the playbook and takes preparation seriously. Pryor concedes understanding something in a meeting room and applying it on the field are two different things.
"If we were to talk and you were to give me a formation for this upcoming week, I'd know every single play," Pryor said. "I'd know where everyone's at, I'd know all the responsibilities. That's on paper, that's not on the field with four guys 300 pounds flying at you, so I don't know."
As for his skill as a passer, Pryor believes he has improved a great deal.
"It's amazing, the accuracy I have now," he said. "I'm able to step into my throws and throw it exactly where I want, and I've got to keep getting better at that."