Who will start at quarterback for the Raiders?

753838.jpg

Who will start at quarterback for the Raiders?

From Comcast SportsNetALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer suffered cracked ribs and a bruised lung after a hard hit by Carolina linebacker Greg Hardy and will not play in the team's final game.Who will start in Palmer's absence is uncertain.Matt Leinart took over after Palmer was knocked out of the game by the Panthers but struggled in his first extensive playing time this season. He completed 16 of 32 attempts for 115 yards, had several passes sail out of bounds and threw a costly interception just before halftime.Terrelle Pryor made a brief appearance against Carolina and caught a 22-yard pass from Palmer after originally taking the snap and throwing to Palmer behind the line of scrimmage. Pryor was also in on two plays near the goal line, running for 2 yards and passing for 5."We'll get both those guys reps in practice with the first team this week," coach Dennis Allen said Monday. "We're not ready to make that decision. We'll see how practice goes, and later in the week we'll be ready to name a starter."That's a 180-degree turn from Allen's stance after the 17-6 loss to Carolina when he told reporters that Leinart would be the team's No. 2 quarterback behind Palmer. He also said of Pryor -- a third-round pick in the 2011 supplemental draft and the final player selected by former team owner Al Davis -- that "we don't feel like he's ready to be the backup quarterback just yet."Leinart certainly didn't do much to help his own standing, which might be why the Oakland coach is mulling a change.The 10th overall pick in 2006, Leinart looked rusty while completing only 50 percent of his throws. Oakland drove down into the red zone twice with him at quarterback but settled for field goals both times. Leinart also threw an interception into triple coverage just before halftime with the Raiders trailing 7-3, and the Panthers converted the turnover into a touchdown that broke the game open."I think he would tell you there were some plays out there that we left on the table," Allen said of Leinart. "We expect him as well as anybody to make those plays. But some of it obviously has to do with getting rushed (in) and not getting an opportunity to play a lot."With the exception of two plays, Pryor spent the second half on the sideline.Oakland fans repeatedly have chanted Pryor's name during home games this season and general manager Reggie McKenzie has said he wants to see Pryor play to further evaluate the quarterback's abilities.That could happen if Allen decides to give Pryor his first NFL start next Sunday in San Diego."I don't know that he's got full command of everything that we're doing but I wouldn't expect a lot different out of any other young QB," Allen said. "We'll work him this week in practice (and) make a decision at the end of the week which way we want to go."Following the loss to Carolina, Pryor told reporters he would be ready to go if he was the starter against San Diego."I definitely don't make decisions like that," Pryor said. "I just go out and do my job. Whatever God has for me, it's going to happen. If not, I'll be fine."Palmer was hit in the back by Hardy late in the first quarter while rolling out to throw. Hardy appeared to lead with his helmet and drew an unnecessary roughness penalty, one of six such penalties accumulated by the two teams combined.Palmer was later taken to a hospital in Carolina and underwent a CT scan which revealed the cracked ribs and bruised lung. Palmer was able to rejoin his teammates for the flight home, but upon arrival in Oakland the quarterback was transported from the plane to Eden Medical Center in nearby Castro Valley and kept overnight.A Raiders spokesman said Palmer was released from the hospital Monday afternoon."He made the flight back home with us but spent the night overnight in a hospital for observation," Allen said. "He'll be out this week."Notes: Right guard Mike Brisiel suffered a concussion against Carolina. ... Safety Tyvon Branch (ankle) and cornerbackpunt returner Phillip Adams (groin) were also hurt in the game. ... Allen said the team might look at moving outside linebacker Miles Burris to the middle in the offseason. Burris, a fourth-round pick who has started 14 games as a rookie this season, led the Raiders in tackles against Carolina and also got his first NFL interception.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Breaking down the World Series hangover

bochy-maddon-0525.jpg
USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Breaking down the World Series hangover

Do the Cubs have a World Series hangover?

On the latest edition of the Cubs Talk Podcast, NBC Sports Bay Area Giants Insider Alex Pavlovic joins CSN's Patrick Mooney to talk about the World Series hangover, how last year's playoff loss lingered in San Francisco, Johnny Cueto's quirks, the legend of Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija's ups and downs.

Plus Kelly Crull, Jeff Nelson and Tony Andracki break down the Cubs’ defensive struggles this year compared to an historic 2016 and how Ian Happ fits into the Cubs’ lineup in both the short and long term.

Listen to the latest episode below:

What does Caleb Swanigan's departure for NBA mean for Purdue and the 2018 Big Ten title race?

caleb-swanigan-0525.jpg
USA TODAY

What does Caleb Swanigan's departure for NBA mean for Purdue and the 2018 Big Ten title race?

Caleb Swanigan, unsurprisingly, is heading to the NBA.

Last season’s Big Ten Player of the Year announced Wednesday that he’ll pass up the final two seasons of his NCAA eligibility for a paying gig at the professional level, an awesome opportunity for a kid who battled obesity and homelessness to become one of the best basketball players in the country.

But Swanigan’s departure from West Lafayette means a heck of a lot to the Big Ten.

Without the league’s most dominant big man, what becomes of Purdue’s chances at winning a conference title? Similarly, with a weakened — though still strong — group of Boilermakers, what does the Big Ten race look like going into 2017-18?

First, Purdue. Matt Painter’s program is plenty healthy, and while there’s no doubt that losing Swanigan is a big deal, the Boilers got some really good news, too, Wednesday when Vincent Edwards announced he’ll be returning for his senior season. Seven-footer Isaac Haas also made the decision to return to West Lafayette, meaning the towering frontcourt hasn’t been completely decimated just because tha man called “Biggie” is gone.

Purdue will also return Carsen Edwards, who had an impressive freshman campaign, and Dakota Mathias, a terrific defender and 3-point shooter. Two more important pieces — P.J. Thompson and Ryan Cline — are back, as well. And Painter will welcome in freshman Nojel Eastern, a highly touted guard from Evanston.

So the Boilers are still in very good shape. There will be a big magnifying glass on Haas, who despite his physical attributes hasn’t always found consistent on-court success. But there have been plenty of flashes of brilliance from the big man. A big step forward in his game would go a long way in easing the blow of losing Swanigan and could keep Purdue as one of the frontrunners for a conference title.

That brings us to the Big Ten race. Ever since Miles Bridges, the conference’s reigning Freshman of the Year, announced he’d be returning to Michigan State for his sophomore season, the Spartans have been the near-unanimous favorite. Only something like Swanigan deciding to stay at Purdue could’ve changed that. And with Swanigan expectedly heading to the NBA, Michigan State remains the preseason pick to win the conference crown.

Like any good year in the Big Ten, though, there will be challengers.

But Michigan State is the popular choice to win it because of Tom Izzo’s insane 2016 recruiting class is returning completely intact: Bridges, Nick Ward, Cassius Winston and Joshua Langford are all back. And Izzo brings in one of the top 2017 recruits in forward Jaren Jackson.

But Sparty isn’t the only one with an impressive returning group. Purdue’s experienced roster has already been covered. Northwestern, a surprise contender in 2016-17, should be even better as Bryant McIntosh, Vic Law and Scottie Lindsey enter their fourth year playing together. Dererk Pardon, a shot-blocking whiz at center, is also back, as is sharp-shooter Aaron Falzon, who sat out the 2016-17 season with an injury after starting during his freshman year in 2015-16.

There will be big shoes to fill for some perennial contenders like Maryland — which must replace Melo Trimble — and Michigan, which watched eligibility run out on Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin before D.J. Wilson decided to head to the professional ranks Wednesday. But those teams have plenty of talent returning, too. The Terps will have all three of their fab freshmen — Justin Jackson, Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter — back for sophomore seasons, while the Wolverines have Moe Wagner back in the fold alongside Xavier Simpson and Duncan Robinson, among others.

And what of last year’s shocking contender, Minnesota? The Golden Gophers didn’t lose too much this offseason and will return almost every main player from last year’s 24-10 squad: Amir Coffey, Nate Mason, Reggie Lynch, Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBrayer and Eric Curry.

There are up-and-comers to think about, too, such as last year’s freshman-heavy squads at Iowa and Penn State. And could new head coaches Brad Underwood and Archie Miller make instant splashes at Illinois and Indiana, respectively?

If it sounds a little too much like the annual coach speak that “any team can win on any night” in the Big Ten, that’s because there is a good deal of truth to that oft-used phrase.

There are definitely tiers to this thing, though. Even without Swanigan, Purdue is still in one of those upper tiers. But there might be no team besides Michigan State at the very top of the heap, something underscored by Swanigan turning pro.