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Raiders' Palmer leaves game after hard hit to back

Photo: Bob Leverone/AP

Greg Hardy's hit drew a 15-yard penalty for leading with his head.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer has left Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers with a back injury and will not return, the team announced.

Matt Leinart has replaced Palmer.

Palmer was flushed from the pocket late in the first quarter, rolled right and stopped to set up. That's when defensive end Greg Hardy came barreling in from behind and hit Palmer in his lower back with the crown of his helmet. Officials flagged Hardy for unnecessary roughness because he led with his helmet, resulting in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.

Palmer finished 3 of 3 for 31 yards.

Also, the Raiders announced defensive back Phillip Adams (groin) and safety Tyvon Branch (foot) are also out for the remainder of the game.

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