ALAMEDA The last time Terrelle Pryor was truly in his element, he compiled 227 yards on three pass completions and five runs and accounted for three touchdowns.
It was Aug. 25, and the Raiders beat the Detroit Lions 31-20 at O.co Coliseum in their third preseason game.
Pryor played again the following week against Seattle, going 6 for 9 for 55 yards in a 21-3 loss to the Seahawks, and he hasn't suited up on game day since. Pryor has been inactive in Oakland's 11 regular-season games.
"I feel like I haven't played in a year," Pryor said.
Whether Pryor suits up and has a role Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, only coach Dennis Allen knows for sure and he's not saying.
But Allen did leave open the possibility of having Pryor, a supplemental third-round draft pick last year out of Ohio State, suiting up as a third quarterback.
"I think somewhere down the line we need to see what he can do," Allen said. "Now when that time is, I don't know the exact answer for that yet. But there will be a time where we've got to get a look at him."
Through 11 games, the Raiders have shown no inclination to deviate from their normal offense, and Carson Palmer is the unquestioned starter.
Given that Pryor would be the No. 3 quarterback, the likelihood is he would be involved in specialty packages to take advantage of his athletic ability.
Pryor would allow the capability of planned quarterback runs or run-pass options or spread option plays out of a shotgun formation.
Asked how he might be used, Pryor declined to comment, but he did say he's been working diligently on his passing and has seen improvement.
"I've been doing a lot of footwork," Pryor said. "It's amazing, the accuracy I have now. I'm able to step into my throws and throw it exactly where I want, and I've got to keep getting better at that."
Pryor won't pretend that sitting and watching for 11 weeks has been easy, mustering up what he calls "false enthusiasm." He is mostly running the scout team offense, simulating the opponent that week.
Linebacker Rolando McClain remained a member of the Raiders on Thursday despite being told to stay out of practice for a second straight day and not to report to the team facility.
The former first-round pick is stuck in limbo a day after being sent out of practice by Allen for undisclosed reasons.
"There's going to be consequences to his actions and it's a team-related issue," Allen said. "I don't really want to get into the details of it. We asked him not to come to practice today."
Allen said McClain has not been suspended and remains on the 53-man roster but would not speculate on what the future with the team holds for the linebacker.
Running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson were on the field practicing for the second straight day, while linebacker Miles Burris (Granite Bay High School), out because of illness Wednesday, was back on the field.
Defensive tackle Richard Seymour (hamstring) and defensive end Jack Crawford (toe) did not practice.