One day before the Oakland Raiders head south, the Chargers still don’t know which quarterback will take the first snap.
Starting quarterback Carson Palmer was injured several weeks ago and is still recovering from cracked ribs and a bruised lung.
Last week, during the loss to the Carolina Panthers, it was the USC graduate Matt Leinart who got the start. But, in the 17-6 loss to the Panthers, Leinart was 16 of 32 for only 115 yards.
This week, Leinart has been splitting practice time with Terrelle Pryor.
As of the end of Thursday’s practice, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said he still didn’t know who would be the starter.
“Some of this will be driven off of Matt being a pocket passer," Knapp said. "There's some plays where Terrelle's athletic skills can be used and maybe move him outside of the pocket and take advantage of his athleticism outside."
The Chargers had to prepare last week for a rocky quarterback situation in New York. Chargers’ head coach Norv Turner says they will be ready for either QB.
“We have tape on both guys that are talking about playing,” Turner said. “And we will prepare a little bit for each one.”
Defensive coordinator John Pagano has been renowned this season for individualizing his game plans and preparing for each quarterback uniquely, specifically, and above all, well. But he says it doesn’t really make a difference who the starter is this week.
“I think that every week is probably the same looking at a guy who’s a veteran or a guy who’s making his first start,” Pagano said. “We prepare for both and keep preparing for what Oakland does, which is that they’re very explosive in the run game and they have receivers and a tight end that can go change the game.”