The Raiders opted not to play Terrelle Pryor on Friday night, just 11 days after selecting the former Ohio State quarterback in the supplemental draft, and that means that Pryor's NFL debut may be on hold for a long while.
Pryor's suspension kicked in immediately following Oakland's loss at Seattle, meaning he is ineligible to play or practice until after the Raiders' fifth regular season game on Oct. 9. Because of that punishment, there had been speculation that Oakland head coach Hue Jackson would give Pryor some time in Friday's preseason finale.
But instead, with Pryor able to sneak only a handful of practices under his belt between the supplemental draft and the fourth week of the preseason, Jackson opted to stick with Jason Campbell, Trent Edwards and Kyle Boller at quarterback.
Campbell, Oakland's unquestioned starter, played a quarter and a half before giving way to Edwards. Heading into Friday night, the Raiders had yet to announce whether Edwards or Boller would serve as the team's regular season backup, so that may have been a factor in the decision to hold Pryor out.
Whichever QB winds up third on the depth chart also faces the reality of being cut once Pryor is eligible to join the team in Week 6.
Oakland used a third-round pick to select Pryor in the Aug. 22 supplemental draft. The Raiders did so knowing that Pryor faced a suspension for what the NFL claimed was a violation of the league's draft rules -- Pryor did not declare for the full NFL draft in April, despite facing a five-game suspension at Ohio State; in June, Pryor changed his mind and left Ohio State for a shot at the pros.
Pryor will be well behind the curve when he's again eligible to practice with the Raiders. Between another five-plus weeks without on-field work and the fact that Oakland will be right in the middle of its regular season when his suspension is over, Pryor looks unlikely to see any game action -- unless the Raiders find themselves in a substantial blowout, one way or another -- until the 2012 preseason.
It's a difficult reality for Pryor, already considered by most to be more of a long-term project than an NFL-ready prospect.
The Raiders are in a position to ease Pryor along, thanks to Campbell. But the lack of work also may prevent Oakland from testing Pryor's capabilities elsewhere -- heading into the supplemental draft, the idea of moving the athletic and well-built Pryor to wide receiver or utilizing him as a change-of-pace quarterback was raised more than once. Everything's on hold for now, though, which means we'll have to wait a little longer -- possibly through an entire season -- until we see what Pryor can bring to the NFL table.