The jury is still very much out on who will start under center this weekend when the Raiders take their road show into Denver to take on the Broncos at 4PM EST on Sunday afternoon. Josh McCown, who last week went over 300 yards vs the Lions in a loss for the Raiders, was on the practice field on Thursday, trying to make it back from a foot sprain that kept him out of Wedneday’s session. Head coach Lane Kiffin said that McCown “looks really good,” but did not simply name him as the starter for Sunday.
There is another issue with McCown, and that is his index finger, which was reported by NFL Network’s Adam Schefter as being slightly cracked. It was reported on Tuesday that McCown couldn’t grip a football, but on Thursday that did not seem to be the case. He did wear a glove on his hand, and while doctors even say the bone may be cracked in the finger, for now he is able to throw with it. Kiffin said for now that the finger is “not an issue.”
If McCown is not able to give it a go on Sunday, the ball will go to Daunte Culpepper, who is chomping at the bit to play after losing the QB battle this past training camp to McCown. You know that if Culpepper gets in there, he will try to do whatever it takes to get a win so he can keep a stranglehold on that starting QB job. McCown stated that he is “battling through the soreness and the pain, trying to decide where I can be physically.”
As for rookie JaMarcus Russell, the Raiders have a two week roster exemption on him, and until then they will keep McCown, Culpepper, and Andrew Walter. As for keeping those three and Russell on the roster? Kiffin said that the chance of having 4 QB’s on the roster is not likely to happen, meaning that there is a shot at the team looking to move Walter before Russell makes it to the 53-man roster in two weeks.