McGloin: 'I'll be ready'
If Terrelle Pryor can't play Sunday, undrafted rookie Matt McGloin will make his first NFL start. (USATSI)
ALAMEDA -- Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor was listed as questionable on Friday's official injury report. Let's downgrade that a bit. It seems unlikely -- shall we say, extremely doubtful? -- that Pryor will play Sunday against the Houston Texans.
Backup Matt McGloin took all the first-team reps during Friday’s workout, putting him in line to start at Houston.
Pryor barely moved during the open portions of practice, and Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Pryor’s injury was worse for his participation in Thursday’s session.
“He wasn’t as good today as he was yesterday, but you never know,” he said. “We’ll take a look at him, and we’re still preparing him to play.”
Even practice-squad quarterbackTyler Wilson threw some passes in the open period, which never happens under normal circumstances.
If Pryor can't go, Wilson will be promoted to the 53-man roster. Pryor sprained his right MCL two weeks ago against the Philadelphia, and was clearly slowed in Sunday's loss to the New York Giants. He skipped practice on Wednesday and split reps with McGloin on Thursday and took it easy on Friday.
Allen isn’t leaving Pryor’s status open for a competitive advantage. He’s waiting to see if the knee improves, although it regressed after a week’s practice leading up to the New York Giants loss.
Unless something unforeseen happens, McGloin is set to make his first NFL start. The undrafted rookie from Penn State is unfazed by that likelihood, and insists he’s as ready as he is before every game.
“As a backup, you have to prepare because you never know when you might see action,” McGloin said. “It really wasn’t an adjustment for me this week. I’m prepared to start. I’m ready when and if I’m called upon.”
A week’s reps have certainly helped. The Raiders wanted to increase his exposure regardless after Pryor floundered due to injury against the Giants. He’s taken nearly all the practice reps and is confident leading an offense he rarely plays with.
“It was great getting reps this week,” McGloin said. “You see things differently when you’re in the middle of everything. The mental preparation is always there, and I’m glad I was able to support that with some physical prep this week. I focused each and every day. I thought the entire unit looked good this week. As an offense, we’re ready.”
Confidence has never been an issue for McGloin. He led Penn State to a surprising 8-4 record despite a swirling off-field scandal. He carries himself well as a pro, which helped him rise from the fourth string and instill enough confidence to warrant an NFL start.
“When he first got here he was just a camp arm, and he’s just gone about his business on a day-in and day-out basis and never has really let anything affect him,” Allen said. “Early on he wasn’t getting a whole lot of reps, and he just kept working his way up.
“Matt’s done a great job this whole time. He has a little bit of that ‘it’ factor about playing the quarterback position. He’s got a lot of confidence in himself, and we’ve got a lot of confidence in him.”