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Silver Minings: Nathan Peterman to start against 49ers

Raiders third-string QB has taken almost all of the preseason snaps so far

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Rams
Nathan Peterman
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

For all but one snap this preseason, Nathan Peterman has been under center for the Las Vegas Raiders. Peterman is listed as the third quarterback on the depth chart, but head coach Jon Gruden decided to sit starter Derek Carr in the games that don’t count and an injury has kept second-stringer Marcus Mariota on the sidelines.

It doesn’t sound like that will change this Sunday as Gruden had this to say about his quarterback rotation this month:

“I don’t want to play [Mariota] in the preseason until we get the [go ahead]. There’s a conversation I have with the trainer before every game and I don’t want to play him if he isn’t 100%. His style of play doesn’t really allow that. At least in the preseason. I don’t want him cutting it loose. So, he’s questionable for the game. He’s going to be available on an emergency basis, but right now Peterman will start and Peterman will finish until I get better information.”

Mariota is known as a dual-threat quarterback who can make plays with his legs and rumors are that Gruden has a package built into the playbook to take advantage of the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner’s skillset. So, it makes sense that the coach doesn’t want to throw Mariota out there if he’s not completely healthy.

However, the other side of the argument is that the backup quarterback could use some reps which could also help increase his trade value. The Raiders don’t seem to be motivated to deal him though, and likely don’t want to tip their hand in regards to the new plays mentioned above.

Thus, Peterman gets four more quarters to pad his resume. He’s completed 71.4 percent of his passes for 418 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions so far this month. In the team’s two contests, he played well in one and struggled in the other so obviously, he’ll be looking to finish on a high note.

The Raiders have kept three quarterbacks on the roster every year of the Gruden 2.0 era so I doubt Peterman’s roster status is in question heading into Sunday. However, he is still working to shake the stigma of his first NFL start and a good performance in Santa Clara will be a step in the right direction.

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  • Difficult decisions at WR: the final cutdown day for the entire league is on Tuesday and Raiders’ offensive coordinator Greg Olson said wide receiver will be one of the hardest position groups to decide on.
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