ALAMEDA — Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday, three days after being knocked out with a concussion, and his status for Sunday's game remains in question.
Pryor passed a concussion test Wednesday that allowed him to return to practice but he still must be cleared for contact before the Raiders (1-2) decide whether to play him Sunday against Washington (0-3).
"There's still some hurdles that he has to clear but he was cleared to go ahead and non-contact practice," coach Dennis Allen said. "He was able to get in there and practice some on a limited basis today."
During the part of practice open to the media, Pryor did conditioning without a helmet and watched backups Matt Flynn and Matt McGloin run practice. But Allen said that Pryor put the helmet on later and got some plays in with his teammates.
Allen said he'd like to know as soon as possible about Pryor's status and that he won't speculate about whether Pryor will play until doctors clear him for contact.
Pryor was hurt late in Monday night's loss in Denver when he was knocked out on a helmet-to-helmet hit by linebacker Wesley Woodyard on a quarterback draw. The play was determined to be legal by the NFL because Pryor was a runner between the tackles.
Pryor was cleared to attend meetings and have physical activity Wednesday and passed an additional test after that to allow him to practice. Pryor said Wednesday it was his first concussion and described the symptoms as mild.
But because of the uncertainty, offensive coordinator Greg Olson has had to design two game plans this week: one that includes designed quarterback runs for the more mobile Pryor, who leads the team with 198 yards rushing, and one for the more traditional pocket passer Flynn.
"It's a few tweaks here and there really," Olson said. "Obviously you'll be able to add the option of some of the things we're doing with Terrelle in the run game. But to be honest with you, since Terrelle has taken over, we've done some of those things when Matt has gotten in and taken some of the few reps that he has. He's done some of those things and he's comfortable with that. He's obviously not the athlete that Terrelle is but as far as knowing when to pull the ball and when to hand it off, he's good at that."
If Flynn does start, he would be the 16th starting quarterback for the Raiders since the start of the 2003 season.
Flynn has started two games in his career when he was in Green Bay, going 24 for 37 for 251 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in 2010 at New England and then throwing for 480 yards and six touchdowns against Detroit in the 2011 season finale for the Packers.
But Flynn was beaten out the past two summers for starting jobs by Russell Wilson in Seattle and Pryor in Oakland. He was hampered in both training camps by a sore throwing elbow but the time off since losing the starting job has helped.