Kerry Collins back to being the starter.

Showing more elusiveness than either of his quarterbacks have this season, Raiders head coach Norv Turner changed direction yet again and announced that Kerry Collins will be back in Oakland's starting lineup for Sunday's game against Cleveland.

A week after proclaiming the starting job Marques Tuiasosopo's for the remainder of the season -- and point he emphasized after the team's embarrassing loss to the New York Jets -- Turner pulled an end-around and elevated Collins back into the starting role.

''The decision to me, what (it) came down to, what gives us the chance to win ... I just felt that it was Kerry,'' Turner said during a rare morning meeting with reporters. ''It's not a reflection of Tui and his performance because he knows there are things he could have done better but we did not play well around him. But there's a process in terms of going to play and I think Tui every week would grow and get better. But as I said, what we owe to the guys on this team that are giving as much as they're giving, we owe them the best chance to find a way to win a game.''

Tuiasosopo made just his second career start against the Jets and was less than impressive, compiling a 47.6 quarterback rating while completing 14 of 26 passes for 124 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

The Raiders managed just 179 yards of total offense against New York, though in Tuiasosopo's defense he get sacked six times by a swarming Jets defense that totally overwhelmed and dominated Oakland's offensive line.

After the game Turner told reporters that Tuiasosopo would remain as the starter. Twenty-four hours later, there were signs a change might be coming when a team spokesman announced Turner would make a decision regarding the quarterbacks later in the week.

Then come Wednesday morning when Turner held separate private meetings with both Collins and Tuiasosopo and revealed his decision.

''It's been, uh, slightly different but the bottom line is I'm excited to play,'' said Collins, describing the past week. ''I know it's a tough spot for Tui but I know he's a team guy and that he'll support me just like I tried to support him last week.''

Tuiasosopo was not made available for comment Wednesday. On Monday, however, the fifth-year veteran reiterated to reporters that he was under the impression the starting job was his the rest of the season.

In making his announcement, Turner acknowledged he ''made a mistake'' in his post-game comments regarding the situation. He also said, after some hesitation, that the decision was his alone and not that of owner Al Davis.

''There's been conversation back and forth and there's been input and conversation with everyone,'' Turner said. ''But ultimately I've got to make that decision.''

It's a decision that could backfire. It's also one other coaches around the NFL would be hesitant to make, particularly since it comes on the heels of a quarterback change just one week ago.

''I think that what you don't want to do, if you can avoid it, is you need to avoid the situation where the guy has to look over his shoulder and if he makes one bad play he's looking over his shoulder because he thinks the other guy is going to come in,'' said Cleveland head coach Romeo Crennel, who is dealing with his own quarterback controversy. ''I don't think that you want that situation.''

Regardless, the Raiders head into Sunday's game against the Browns desperate for anything remotely positive. At 4-9 with games against potential playoff teams Denver and the Giants, this might represent Oakland's last chance to get another win.

Collins passed for 3,118 yards and 16 touchdowns in his 12 previous starts this season and is still on pace to record the third-most passing yards in a single season in franchise history. But with seven interceptions in his four games prior to being benched, Collins knows he's not likely to receive a welcomed reception from the Oakland crowd.

''It's probably not going to be very warm,'' Collins said. ''But the bottom line is we're trying to go in there and win a football game. Obviously this season hasn't gone very well. We all know that. We're as frustrated as anybody. When things are going well, fans voice their frustration. It's not unique to here. That's everywhere. We'd love to have everything to be real smooth at home. It hasn't been and they've voiced their opinion.''

NOTE

* Jake Grove did not practice at all Wednesday but said he expects to be in the Raiders lineup at center against Cleveland.

''We'll see where he is physically as the week goes on, but yes, if he's healthy there is a chance he can move to center,'' Turner said.


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