Matt Leinart is hoping to get one more shot to show what he can do as an NFL starting quarterback.
With Carson Palmer sidelined for the Raiders’ season finale in San Diego with cracked ribs and a bruised lung, Leinart and third-stringer Terrelle Pryor have been sharing time at practice.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen says he won’t pick a starter until after today’s practice, but it seems likely both quarterbacks will get a chance. Leinart has started only two games since 2007 and failed to live up the expectations of winning the Heisman Trophy at Southern Cal and being a first-round draft pick by the Arizona Cardinals in 2006.
“I still feel I have a lot to prove at this point of my career,” Leinart said Thursday. “No matter what the naysayers say, I do feel like I still can play. I do feel like that, and I think I’ll play like that until the day I retire. But you’re only given so many opportunities in this league. That’s why this weekend would be awesome.”
Leinart started 16 games his first two seasons in Arizona before being sidelined by a broken left collarbone in 2007. He was beaten out the next season by Kurt Warner and started one game his final two seasons with the Cardinals.
Leinart then signed with Houston in 2010 and got another chance to start late last season when Matt Schaub went down with a foot injury. But Leinart got hurt in the first half of his first start, missing a chance to take the Texans to the playoffs.
He signed this past offseason with Oakland and had thrown only one pass before replacing Palmer in the first quarter of last week’s 17-6 loss at Carolina. Leinart completed 16 of 32 passes for 115 yards, no touchdowns and one interception for a 45.7 passer rating.
NOTE: The Raiders placed DT Richard Seymour on IR with a hamstring injury.