Palmer adds responsibility with Raiders' defense struggling

Getty Images File PhotoCarson Palmer

Getty Images File PhotoCarson Palmer

Carson Palmer knows he will have to have a big day to get the Raiders back on the winning track.

With a defense that has allowed 97 points the past two weeks, a running game decimated by injuries and the high-powered New Orleans Saints offense led by Drew Brees coming to town, the Raiders (3-6) will be counting on Palmer even more than usual.

“Being a quarterback you don’t want to think that,” Palmer said Wednesday. “You still want to go through your reads.””

Palmer has carried a heavy burden in his first full season as Raiders quarterback, throwing the second-most passes in the league so far with 375 — 13 behind Detroit’s Matthew Stafford. Palmer has thrown for 782 yards the past two weeks and is looking to put together three straight 300-yard games for the first time in his career.

He is on pace to set the Raiders’ record for yards passing in a season, averaging more than 300 per game so far.

“He’s big, he can see the field, he’s got great vision,” Saints interim coach Joe Vitt said. “There’s not a coverage that he can’t throw a ball into, and there’s not a coverage he hasn’t seen.”

But Palmer said it’s important not to try to do too much to overcome a struggling defense.

“You still have to go through your reads, go about the game plan,” Palmer said. “When you get to the third and fourth quarter, depending on where you’re at with a team like this, things can change.”

NOTES: The Raiders signed LB Omar Gaither and placed linebacker Travis Goethel on season-ending injured reserve with a torn ACL in his left knee. … RT Khalif Barnes took the majority of first-team snaps in practice and is set to return from a groin injury that sidelined him Sept. 16. … WR Darrius Heyward-Bey tweaked his hamstring during practice and was limited. … DT Richard Seymour remained sidelined with an injured knee and hamstring. … SS Tyvon Branch (neck) and FS Matt Giordano (concussion) did not practice.

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