Carson Palmer - He's coming off a career-high 61 pass attempts against Tampa Bay, which included 414 yards and four touchdowns.

Palmer may come to pass against Ravens

Published: Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4C
Last Modified: Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 - 7:43 am

ALAMEDA – Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer could be in for another busy day.

With top running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson slowed by sprained right ankles, the Raiders may need to rely on their passing game when they visit the Baltimore Ravens.

Palmer threw 61 passes against Tampa Bay last weekend as the Raiders (3-5) were forced to play catch-up in the second half after losing McFadden and Goodson. Neither back practiced Wednesday, and their status remained in doubt for Sunday's game against the Ravens (6-2).

"We've got a plan in place if either or both of those guys are not able to play," coach Dennis Allen said.

That likely would involve considerable passing with no other proven halfback on the roster. Palmer set a career high in attempts in a 42-32 loss to the Buccaneers, completing 39 passes for 414 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.

With McFadden out for the second half, Goodson getting hurt in the fourth quarter and the Raiders falling behind by 18, they ran the ball three times in the second half – their fewest attempts in eight years.

"You got to adjust to what your health is of your team, but you know it's a team that's had some yards rushing on them, especially the last couple of weeks," Palmer said. "It's very odd. I have never seen that before in my career. So, there are some things we want to take advantage of in the run game.

"But you can't be one-dimensional at the same time, too, and throw it and throw it. We've got to figure out a way to get Darren back as quickly as possible and maybe have a selected or limited game plan for him or Marcel (Reece) or whoever is going to be back there."

Palmer is familiar with the Ravens, having spent his first eight NFL seasons with Cincinnati in the AFC North.

Palmer's nine regular-season wins as a starter against Baltimore are the most of any quarterback. He completed 61 percent of his passes for 3,202 yards with 15 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and an 84.5 passer rating in those games.

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said Palmer looks as good as he did with the Bengals and in college. Suggs was at Arizona State, and Palmer starred at USC.

"I don't fear any quarterbacks, but I'm always worried when I play Carson Palmer," Suggs said. "Me and him come from the same draft class, 2003. This guy has kind of tortured me through all my college and professional career. I'm very aware of the talent. He's definitely one of the premier quarterbacks in the league."

Palmer likely will need to be that way Sunday with Oakland's running game in its current state.

The Raiders chose not to sign a running back this week and likely will go with little-used third-stringer Taiwan Jones or Reece, a fullback, if McFadden and Goodson can't play. They also could activate Jeremy Stewart from the practice squad.

Meanwhile, defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was a full participant in practice after spending Sunday night in a hospital because of an irregular heartbeat. Right tackle Khalif Barnes returned from a groin injury that has sidelined him since Week 2, and Allen said he would know later this week whether Barnes would be able to play Sunday.

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