ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported the Raiders plan to start Palmer, who was acquired on Tuesday from Cincinnati, in the game. If Palmer, who has been practicing this week, doesn’t start, backup Kyle Boller will. Jackson indicated he may not make his decision public anytime soon. His final mandated media session is Friday afternoon.
This is what Jackson told reporters Thursday: “There’s no decision. Again, everybody’s wondering who is going to start. I am not going to make that decision; I don’t have to anytime soon. Sometime maybe tomorrow evening I will figure it out. Right now, I am not in a rush. There is no reason to rush.
“I got more friends right now than I’ve ever had in my life. There’s more media here than ever, my phone will not quit buzzing. I got people saying, ‘I’m your friend from way back when,’ you know? Like I’m going to tell somebody something. I ain’t telling anybody anything. So, you guys can all stop.”
I think if Boller was going to get the start. He’d get nearly all the snaps in practice to prepare. I think Jackson doesn’t want to commit to Palmer publicly yet because he wants to make sure Palmer is physically and mentally ready to play. He hasn’t played since Jan. 2. If Palmer feels comfortable by Friday, I’d imagine the Raiders wil go with him.
Thursday on "SportsCenter", ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck gave some great insight that adds to the idea that Palmer will start. He said he played a game with Washington nine days after he joined the team. His offensive coordinator was Hue Jackson. He said Jackson simply took plays out of the first game’s plan that Hasselbeck wasn’t yet comfortable with. So, Jackson has been down this road before.
Anything can change, but count me as among the surprised if Palmer doesn’t play Sunday.
Meanwhile, the contract numbers of Palmer’s renegotiated deal (which was part of the trade) have been filed. As expected, Palmer took a pay cut for the rest of this season. Palmer will make an average of $10.75 million through 2014. His salary cap number for this season is $2.499. He will make $12.45 million in base salary next year with $5 million guaranteed.