ALAMEDA – Jon Gruden has always intended to keep three quarterbacks on this Raiders roster.
Derek Carr’s the unquestioned starter. Mike Glennon’s his backup. And Nathan Peterman was supposed to be the third guy, an athletic player to run the scout team and continue his development away from the spotlight.
That plan became unrealistic during the preseason finale, when Peterman felt some pain in his right elbow.
“He actually finished the game,” Gruden said. “He came over on the sideline with a sore right elbow. After the game it got a little bit more sore. Gave him an MRI and there’s a little ligament problem there. He won’t have to have surgery. He’ll probably be back the middle part of the season.”
Using a short-term IR designation on a third quarterback seems extreme. Gruden has one of his two return slots earmarked for Isaiah Johnson, and the other is more likely to go to a player who can help the club on game days.
The Raiders need help running the scout team right away, which is why they claimed DeShone Kizer off waivers from Green Bay on Sunday morning.
Kizer’s athletic enough to fill the scout-team role, with a strong arm and upside coaches can develop into an asset or more of an impact player. The Notre Dame alum is just 23 years old, with several unsuccessful of starts in Cleveland.
“He’s had a lot of reps. He’s had a lot of experiences,” Gruden said. “I’m sure most of his bad experiences, like Peterman, will be reported over and over. But I think he’s got a big upside. He’s athletic. I know [offensive coordinator Greg Olson] and I are looking forward to working with him. We have to fast track him. He has a lot to learn in a short period of time. But we are really disappointed that Nate got hurt.”
Gruden didn’t consider going with two quarterbacks, and using an extra roster spot to fortify another position group. He survived with two quarterbacks last year with Carr and AJ McCarron, but didn’t feel comfortable with it despite only being down to one guy once.
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“We went down to one quarterback last year, and I almost jumped off the bridge,” Gruden said. “You have to shut down business if you don’t have a backup quarterback. My brother [Jay Gruden] went through it last year [in Washington]. I don’t know how many quarterbacks they had to play. Some franchises go with two. They’ve had a guy that stayed healthy for 10 years. I hope Derek [Carr] does that. This is no reflection on Derek, but I just think you have to have guys developing at that position. You have to have guys ready to go out and play. We have really good receivers. We have a good group of offensive lineman. We want to have a quarterback that can help everybody win.”