In the news:
Raiders demote Matt Flynn to third string
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor returned to practice Wednesday with the Oakland Raiders and was working with the first team after missing last week’s game with a concussion.
Seattle Times news services
ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders got one of their two biggest offensive playmakers back at practice.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor returned to practice Wednesday and was working with the first team after missing last week’s game with a concussion, while running back Darren McFadden is still sidelined by a hamstring injury that prevented him from finishing last week’s game.
Pryor’s return will be much welcomed after Raiders fans booed backup Matt Flynn repeatedly while watching the offense stagnate in a 24-14 loss to Washington.
Flynn, the former Seahawk who was expected to start before losing the job in the exhibition season to Pryor, showed little pocket awareness. He threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown and took seven sacks, while leading just one scoring drive.
That performance helped drop Flynn to third-team status behind undrafted rookie Matt McGloin, a fast fall after Oakland traded two draft picks to Seattle to acquire Flynn and gave him $6.5 million in guaranteed money.
“It hasn’t worked out like we anticipated and we’ve got to make decisions and we’ve got to move forward and continue to go,” coach Dennis Allen said. “Matt’s going to continue to battle and scratch and claw, and I still believe that he’s a capable quarterback.”
Pryor is symptom-free from his concussion and appears on target to resume his starting role when the Raiders (1-3) host San Diego (2-2) on Sunday night.
Pryor had helped obscure many of Oakland’s problems on offense with his athleticism that has allowed him to turn broken plays into big ones.
Pryor completed 65.4 percent of his passes the first three weeks for 624 yards and two touchdowns. He has also rushed for 198 yards on 26 carries and has not turned the ball over since throwing two interceptions in an opening week loss to Indianapolis.
McFadden leads the Raiders with 215 yards rushing but has been hampered by a variety of injuries for his entire career.
• Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman was fined twice for a total of $31,500 last month by the club, SI.com reported. One was for conduct detrimental to the team — last week’s unauthorized interview with ESPN — the other for missing a meeting. Freeman is appealing the fines through the players union and disputes he missed a meeting because he was sent to the training room and told to remain there, according to the report.
• Denver Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan’s knee injury wasn’t serious after he was carted off the field toward the end of practice. His MRI was negative.
• The winless Pittsburgh Steelers acquired left tackle Levi Brown from the Arizona Cardinals for a conditional draft pick. Brown, 29, never appeared comfortable in Arizona after the Cardinals selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 2007 draft.
• Meet Mr. Hitner. Called by that name for years out of respect for his hard-hitting defense, San Francisco safety Donte Whitner has filed paperwork in Ohio through his lawyer to formally change his name by removing the “W” — after receiving permission from his mother, Deborah, to do so.
• Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin said the NFL has fined him $21,000 for his hit on New York Jets receiver Stephen Hill, which Griffin called the consequence of going high.
• The Detroit Lions signed wide receiver Kevin Olgetree to a one-year contract. Ogletree was cut by Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
• The Baltimore Ravens obtained left tackle Eugene Monroe from the Jacksonville Jaguars for two draft picks.
• The New York Jets signed David Nelson to add depth to a banged-up receiving corps.