For two weeks, the Raiders have been in “bold” mode, so why stop now?
First, they traded for former first-round pick Aaron Curry, a linebacker who’d lost favor in Seattle, then threw him into action days later against the Browns.
On Tuesday they traded for Bengals holdout quarterback Carson Palmer, and now it appears he’ll be the starting quarterback Sunday against the Chiefs.
No matter that he’s had all of one practice with the team, hasn’t played in an NFL game since Jan. 2 and has had about 24 hours to look at the team’s playbook.
Apparently even a rusty Palmer is better than backup quarterback Kyle Boller, who didn’t exactly shine after taking over for Jason Campbell last Sunday when Campbell suffered a broken collarbone in the victory over the Browns.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Vittorio Tafur reported Thursday morning that both team and NFL sources said Wednesday night that Palmer – who had his first Raiders practice Wednesday – will start Sunday at O.co Coliseum against Kansas City.
After Palmer’s first practice Wednesday, head coach Hue Jackson gave Palmer two thumbs up when he was asked how Palmer looked.
“He looked like a quarterback,” Jackson told reporters. “A big, pretty athletic quarterback that can throw.”
The team hasn’t officially made any announcement about who will start Sunday, but Tafur reported that Raiders offensive coordinator Al Saunders told a radio station Wednesday that Palmer would start Sunday “as long as he’s breathing.”
Palmer had been working out in Southern California, throwing to former Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, among others, but admitted Wednesday he felt “rusty” in his first practice, wearing No. 3 on his red, don-t-touch-me practice jersey.
After practice, Palmer said it was exciting to be back with a team and practicing, “But there’s definitely a learning curve.”
“I definitely have my work cut out for me,” he added.
Palmer’s new teammates, however, were impressed.
“To have been sitting on a couch, that man’s looking real good,” tight end Richard Gordon told the Oakland Tribune’s Jerry McDonald.
Added wide receiver Denarius Moore: “It almost seemed like it came natural to him when he came out and started getting the reps in.”
Jackson told Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times that he won’t make any official decision on a starting quarterback until Friday. All signs indicate, though, that unless Palmer can’t walk or has his right arm in a sling Sunday, he’ll be the starter.