ALAMEDA, Calif. (CBSLA.com/AP) — Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub missed his second straight day of practice Monday with a sore throwing elbow that has lingered throughout the preseason.
Rookie Derek Carr took first-team snaps for a second straight day with Schaub serving as a spectator.
Schaub’s status for Thursday night’s exhibition finale against Seattle remains up in the air but he and coach Dennis Allen said they are confident he will be healthy enough to start the season opener Sept. 7 against the New York Jets.
“It’s been something that’s been around and we’ve been managing it and taking care of it,” Schaub said. “It just got to a point where we need to figure out what is really happening and just take care of it.”
Schaub said he has never dealt with this kind of soreness in his right elbow before but said he had no concerns that it would impact him this year.
Schaub, who spent the first three years of his 10-year career in Atlanta, has struggled so far in the exhibition season, leading the Raiders to just two scores in 15 drives as he’s failed to show that last year’s rough season in Houston was an aberration.
Schaub has completed just 51 percent of his passes this preseason and is averaging only 4.6 yards per attempt as he struggles to get the ball downfield. Schaub has completed just 2 of 13 pass attempts more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage in three games but did not blame the elbow for that.
“It hasn’t really affected it,” he said. “It’s just bothersome. It’s something I noticed and it’s something that I just want to take care of and get out of the way.”
Allen said the issues with the first-team passing game are much deeper than just the quarterback, making it harder to get fixed. That task only becomes more difficult with Schaub missing key practice time less than two weeks before the season opener.
“Obviously that’s something you’d like to have, but you’ve got to have a little bit of foresight in getting ready for the opening game, and that’s what’s the most critical,” Allen said. “These preseason games are trying to prepare you for that. But ultimately, the true test is where are you at on opening day, and that’s where our focus is.”
The Raiders had been hoping Schaub could return to the level he reached earlier in his career in Houston when he posted five straight seasons with a passer rating of at least 90 and had three 4,000-yard passing seasons from 2008-12.
He dropped off significantly last season when he set an NFL record by having an interception returned for a touchdown in four straight games and lost his starting job to Case Keenum.
The developments with Schaub are eerily similar to what happened with Matt Flynn in Oakland last season. Flynn was acquired from Seattle in an offseason trade and was immediately named the starter by the coaching staff.
But Flynn struggled in practice and the preseason and then was held out of practice following the third exhibition game with tendinitis in his right elbow. Terrelle Pryor used that opportunity to take over as starting quarterback for the season opener. Flynn started one game when Pryor was hurt and was released shortly after that.
“I don’t know what happened here last year,” Schaub said. “I don’t know what happened with anybody who was here last year. I just know myself and what we’re going through right now.”
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