Raiders Mulling Options At Quarterback
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Jason Campbell was set to have surgery on his broken collarbone, Kyle Boller prepared to take over as the starting quarterback in Oakland and coach Hue Jackson was searching for another quarterback who can either supplant Boller or serve as a backup.
“If you’re a quarterback out there and you want to come play for the Raiders give us a call,” Jackson said Monday.
The Raiders have lost Campbell for a significant period of time to the broken collarbone suffered when he landed on his shoulder at the end of a scramble late in the first half against Cleveland on Sunday.
Campbell hopes to recover in time to play down the stretch for the Raiders this season but Oakland needs help now with Boller and rookie Terrelle Pryor the only quarterbacks on the roster.
“It was a tough break,” Campbell said. “I’m going to stay positive. If everything goes right I could be back in six weeks.”
The Raiders have looked into possible trades and free agent signings, although one possible option was eliminated Monday. Oakland contacted former Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard, but Garrard’s agent confirmed a Fox Sports report that the quarterback will need back surgery and would not be available for four to six weeks.
Other free-agent possibilities include Trent Edwards, who was in Oakland’s camp this summer; Charlie Frye, who spent the past two seasons with the Raiders; and former Baltimore quarterbacks Troy Smith and Todd Bouman, who have worked with Jackson on the Ravens. Oakland also could look into making a trade for Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer or Denver’s Kyle Orton before Tuesday’s deadline.
“You just kind of rattle all the trees and see everything that’s out there, what best fits us,” Jackson said. “You’ve got to have somebody that can kind of hit the ground running, whether the guy can be a starter or the guy can be a backup because if not, it’s going to take two or three weeks, or four to get ingrained in the system and you’ve fallen behind.”
The injury spoiled what had been looking like a breakthrough season for Campbell. After bouncing between coordinators for most of his career, Campbell finally got a chance to play a second year in Jackson’s offense and was making the most of it.
He had completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 1,170 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions for a passer rating of 84.2. Campbell was in the final year of his contract, raising questions about his future in Oakland if he is not able to come back this season.
“It’s tough, because the guy worked so hard in the offseason, preparing himself and spending so much time with his teammates,” Jackson said. “But that’s the nature of this game. I think the players, when they play it, they understand that. None of us like it, I don’t like it, but we’re not going to worry about it. This team is going to win.”
There’s a good chance they will have to do it this week against Kansas City with Boller under center. Boller, a first-round pick by Baltimore in 2003, has not started a game in the NFL since 2009 with St. Louis. He has spent the past two years as a backup in Oakland, completing 10 of 18 passes for 125 yards and an interception.
Boller started 34 games over his first three seasons with the Ravens but has mostly been a backup the past six years. Now he’s getting another chance to start with a team that has some talented playmakers on offense and legitimate hopes of competing in the AFC West.
“I feel good about Kyle, that’s why he’s here,” Jackson said. “I know Kyle, I know what Kyle is and what he’s capable of doing. But we’re chasing a championship here. That’s the commitment I’ve made to the organization then I got to make sure that we’re putting championship players out there. Not to say that Kyle’s not. I got to make sure that there’s not somebody out there who can come best fit us that may give us an opportunity.”
Boller was just 8 of 14 for 100 yards on Sunday, missing some targets badly as he took a while to find his rhythm after getting so little work in practice the past six weeks.
Now it looks like he will get the bulk of the work with the first team this week, which the Raiders hope will show up in improved play Sunday against Kansas City.
“It’s unfortunate that it happened, but now it’s my responsibility to take over and to lead this offense to scoring points,” Boller said. “I’m excited about that because I feel like I can step in there. I feel like I have a good relationship with the offensive line, receivers, and the running backs. So I’m looking forward to this week to be able to get practice reps with them and get after this thing.”
Notes: The Raiders released CB Joe Porter to make room for Pryor on the roster. … C Samson Satele said he will play this week despite spraining his knee. … Jackson said FB Marcel Reece is close to returning from an ankle injury but DE Matt Shaughnessy could be out for a while still with a shoulder injury.