Chiefs' Cassel with concussion, Quinn likely QB

Associated Press Modified: October 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm •  Published: October 8, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs are down to their backup quarterback for the second year in a row.

Matt Cassel sustained a concussion in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against Baltimore and is unlikely to play in next weekend's game at Tampa Bay, which means Brady Quinn is preparing to start an NFL game for the first time in nearly three years.

Cassel was hit by the Ravens' Haloti Ngata while completing a pass to Jamaal Charles in the Chiefs' 9-6 loss. He remained on the ground for several minutes before walking off the field and straight to the locker room. Quinn finished out Kansas City's final offensive series.

"Some individuals recover faster than others," Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said, "but with the emphasis on concussions in the league, they're making sure we do due diligence with the player's health, making sure he's not rushed back, so we'll see."

Crennel didn't officially rule Cassel out against the Buccaneers, but he said that Quinn and third-string quarterback Ricky Stanzi would be preparing to play.

"That's one of the good things about having three quarterbacks on the roster," Crennel said. "If you lose one, at least you still have two guys, and you don't have to go trying to pick someone up off the street. You have guys who have been in the system."

That was the predicament the Chiefs found themselves in last season.

Cassel hurt his throwing hand against the Denver Broncos last November, undergoing surgery and landing on injured reserve. Tyler Palko was an abject failure starting in his place, and the Chiefs wound up claiming Kyle Orton off waivers to finish out the season.

The move to Quinn may have happened eventually even if Cassel hadn't been hurt.

The former Pro Bowl quarterback has struggled mightily the past two seasons, and his troubles this year have been especially glaring. Cassel was only completing 58.5 percent of his passes and had thrown five touchdowns and a league-leading nine interceptions.

His quarterback rating of 66.2 is the lowest since he became a starter in New England.

That's part of the reason some intrepid fans raised enough money to hire a plane to tow a banner before Sunday's game pleading for Cassel to be benched, and why a small segment of the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium cheered when he got hurt — drawing the ire of right tackle Eric Winston and his teammates, and touching off a national debate about uncouth behavior of some fans.

Winston called the cheering "100-percent sickening" after the game, and stood by his opinion during a meeting with a few reporters Monday. But he also made sure to clarify that he wasn't talking about all Kansas City fans, just those who were cheering Cassel's injury.

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