ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders went into training camp believing they had stabilized the quarterback position and upgraded their roster talent.
After a 2-2 preseason that ended with a rousing 41-31 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, Raiders coach Dennis Allen felt good about perceived upgrades in several areas, most notably the running game, the pass rush and overall depth on the roster.
As for the quarterback, a sore elbow and ineffective play by presumptive starter Matt Schaub and an electric preseason finale from second-round draft pick Derek Carr had Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie in a quandary.
The plot thickened the day after the Seattle game when Allen said Schaub was away from the team on a "personal issue" with the expectation he would return Monday.
Do the Raiders throw Carr off the high dive to start the season Sept. 7 on the road against the New York Jets and hope he swims?
Or do they attempt to manage Schaub, health permitting, through the early part of the season?
The wrong answer could affect the status of both men, with Mark Davis expecting progress and espousing a "no excuses" mantra for a team with the NFL's most difficult schedule.
As good as Carr was against Seattle, things broke in a positive way for him in a manner that eluded Schaub in terms of getting help from his supporting staff and a dose of good fortune.
Carr completed 11-of-13 passes for 143 yards and three touchdown passes, and he produced four touchdowns in four possessions.
The Raiders were not backed up on any of those four series and twice Carr was given short-field opportunities at the Seattle 36 and the Seattle 20.
Both produced first-play touchdown passes to Denarius Moore and Mychal Rivera on a deflected pass.
On drives of 68 and 61 yards, Carr got excellent protection and 41 yards rushing on eight carries from Latavius Murray, staying in advantageous down and distance.
The Raiders receivers had their best night of the preseason, coming up with contested catches and making good adjustments on the ball.
Surely, it won't be that easy in the regular-season, and Carr hasn't had to face the kind of adversity Schaub faced routinely with a surrounding cast that was penalty prone and not always holding on to the ball.
If Schaub recovers sufficiently, the early part of the Raiders' season could evolve into a back-and-forth situation at quarterback.
Combined with third-stringer Matt McGloin, who had a solid preseason, Allen believes it's a good problem to have.
"The great thing is, I think we have three guys that can be the starting quarterback for us," Allen said. "I'm very happy with where we're at in the quarterback room."
NOTES: PK Sebastian Janikowski (quad) did not kick in the preseason finale, but coach Dennis Allen expects him back to face the Jets in the regular-season opener. ... LB Sio Moore sat out the Seattle game because of a neck strain, but Allen hopes to have him available for practice leading into the opener. ... CB Chimdi Chekwa has been out two weeks because of a knee strain and his status for the opener is not clear. ... CB Taiwan Jones also has been out two weeks with a knee strain and his status was unclear. ... TE David Ausberry, out since the beginning of training camp because of a knee injury, might be available for practice next week.