After yet another terrible loss, Tom Cable took his normal position before the media on Monday and prepared to try and explain why the Raiders had lost to the 0-5 San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
After dispensing with the formalities of the injury report, Cable fielded questions from reporters. Not surprisingly, many of the reporters chose to focus on Jason Campbell and the Oakland quarterback situation.
Cable did his normal side step of the question as to who the starting quarterback would be, stating that he would have to wait until Wednesday to see how the players are looking mid-week. Both starter Bruce Gradkowski and backup Jason Campbell are hobbled with injuries right now, making the starting spot completely up in the air.
Gradkowski injured his shoulder in the Raiders' win in Oakland over the San Diego Chargers and his chances to start this week do not look good. Tom Cable and the Oakland coaching staff decided to make Bruce the third string quarterback for the game against the 49ers. As most of you know, a third string quarterback is not allowed to come into a game unless both the first and second stringers are injured.
Therefore, Gradkowski's injury must have been serious enough for the Raiders to have decided that barring an emergency, he was not going to play in San Francisco.
This may partially explain why Tom Cable decided to stay with Campbell for the entire game despite his struggles. Late in the game and only trailing by one score, Cable likely wanted someone with game experience to lead the team. Since Gradkowski was not available, this meant Campbell.
Despite the fact that Campbell hurt his knee in the first half, Cable stayed with the struggling and now limping quarterback.
At his press conference on Monday, Cable stated that the MRI on Campbell was clear and that all he had was a minor sprain. Normally, a quarterback will still be able to play on a minor sprain. However, when asked if there were any circumstances under which Kyle Boller would be the starter this weekend, Cable's response was "absolutely."
This emphatic statement leads me to believe that Boller will have a chance to win a starting job regardless of whether or not Jason Campbell is injured. Otherwise, if Cable wanted to show Campbell some support, he would have stated that if healthy (and Bruce is not) that Campbell is the starter, just like he said with Gradkowski after the Chargers game.
This morning, there were reports that despite what Cable said on Monday, Campbell feels as though he might have a slight tear in his meniscus. If this were true, Campbell would not be available for this weekend and Boller would be the likely starter. It would also, however, call into question the communication between Campbell and head coach Tom Cable.
Injured or not, based on his horrible performance on Sunday, Jason Campbell may have put himself on the fast track to become Oakland's third string quarterback.