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National Columnist

Terrelle Pryor could play Sunday? You can't be serious, Raiders

If Terrelle Pryor can't go, Matt Flynn would get the nod in Oakland. (USATSI)

The Oakland Raiders are kidding about Terrelle Pryor. They have to be. They say Pryor has passed all of the league's concussion tests and could play on Sunday, less than a week after suffering a concussion against the Broncos, but I'm not taking that seriously. I've already been played for a sucker by the "feud" between Gatorade NBA stars Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade. I refuse to fall for this.

Just give us the punch line, Raiders. Or maybe it's a sound effect that comes next. A kazoo noise. A whoopee cushion. Something.

Just don't tell me this is serious, because I won't believe it. Less than four days after Terrelle Pryor suffered a concussion on Monday night against the Broncos -- and that was the official diagnosis -- he has passed all the league's concussion tests? He could play Sunday?

Given what we know about the life-altering effects of suffering a second concussion, so soon after suffering the first?

The NFL just settled a class-action lawsuit with former players for $765 million, a lawsuit centered on concussions. Rules are in place that are sucking some of the shocking fun out of the NFL viewing experience, to which lots of us say: Good. Because if the NFL needs head shots to be fun to watch, well, maybe we can watch something else. Because lots of us don't want to watch head shots. Not after finding out just how debilitating those head shots are to players.

Retired NFL players are suffering from depression and Alzheimer's and ALS. Some are homeless. Some are dead by their own hands. Concussions didn't cause every last one of those tragedies ... but they caused a lot of them. Too much of them.

And everybody knows it.

So rather than getting angry that Terrelle Pryor might actually play Sunday against the Redskins, I'm going to wait for the kicker. It was just Tuesday that Pryor was tweeting about the Broncos game: "I don't remember much! Good hit by whoever it was. I heard our team fought well ..."

Three days later the Raiders are saying they'll test him one more time, Saturday, before making a decision about his playing status for Sunday. So of course this is a joke, if a convoluted one, seeing how it's dragging on and on. Maybe the Raiders are waiting for Ashton Kutcher to fly across the country and get into position with his camera. This is Punk'd material. Has to be.

If it's all the same to you, though, I'm going to ask the Raiders to stop fooling around.

Because this isn't funny.

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