ALAMEDA What could have shaped up as a battle between two of the NFL's most gifted athletes is instead a cautionary tale on the perils of being a quarterback that runs the ball.
Terrelle Pryor may not start for the Raiders on Sunday against the Washington Redskins at O.co Coliseum after practicing in a limited fashion while recovering from a concussion.
Robert Griffin III will start for Washington, but it's an open debate as to whether he's the same guy who put together one of the best rookie seasons for a quarterback in NFL history.
Pryor was mostly a spectator in practice Thursday. He didn't put on a helmet until the closed session began, where coach Dennis Allen said Pryor got some snaps.
"I don't want to speculate on where we're at," Allen said. "I've got to see when he gets cleared for contact and when he's fully able to participate in practice."
With little more than a walk-through on Saturday, it would seem the chances of Pryor starting without getting in close to a full session today are slim.
There are no such doubts regarding Griffin, who won the NFL Rookie of the Year award by completing 65.9 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and a passer rating of 102.4. He also rushed for 815 yards, a league record for a rookie quarterback.
Following reconstructive knee surgery, Griffin is throwing more and running less, although some of that has to do with the Redskins playing from behind in an 0-3 start.
Griffin looked a little more like his old self in a 27-20 loss to the Detroit Lions last Sunday, running six times for 37 yards and completing 32 of 50 passes for 326 yards.
"He's not fully healthy, obviously," teammate and wide receiver Pierre Garcon told the Washington Post. "He's running a little bit more, but last year's RG3 was a lot different than this year's RG because of his knee. It's not surprising."
Griffin is uninterested in discussing the state of his health or analyzing anything other than how to get better.
"Whether you're a mobile quarterback or a quarterback that sits in the pocket, there are going to be games where things don't go your way and there are going to be times when people criticize you," Griffin told Bay Area reporters by conference call. "You just can't look at that stuff."
Allen said the Redskins don't look much different offensively than they did a year ago, when they won the NFL East.
"I haven't seen a ton of difference in what they're doing offensively," Allen said. "He's still a very talented player."
Raiders free safety Charles Woodson, on a conference call with Washington writers, said, "I don't think there's as much setting up the pass with that read option in the run game as there has been."
Griffin said the read option is still a part of the Washington offense and that the lack of running has more to do with how opposing defenses are playing it.
Game is sold out The Raiders announced Sunday's game is a sellout and will be televised locally.