The Morning Fix

Cassel injured his right hand late in Sunday’s 17-10 loss to Denver at Arrowhead Stadium. Haley wasn’t optimistic Cassel would return this season.

“That’s a possibility,” said Haley, who also indicated Cassel would probably need surgery. “I wouldn’t say it’s an absolute.

“There’s some optimism, but with each person that varies. Being a quarterback and being the hand he throws with, that’s a difficulty.”

The remainder of the season is in jeopardy for Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, who suffered an injury to his throwing hand that will require surgery. Cassel was removed late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game after taking a sack from Broncos linebacker Von Miller and defensive end Elvis Dumervil.

Cassel has yet to be placed on injured reserve, but that could change with a situation head coach Todd Haley described as “fluid” Monday afternoon.

“We feel good about Tyler, or he wouldn’t be here as our No. 2 quarterback,” said Haley, an Upper St. Clair native. “I have belief in Tyler. In his case, there’s not a lot of regular-season action to go on, but I feel like he’s done a great job while he’s been here of developing and getting better. He has a great understanding of how our offense works and what his role within it is. …

“Tyler is the next in line, and he’s done a terrific job of keeping himself ready. That’s what the No. 2 quarterback has to do, because you don’t know. At a moment’s notice, you could be in there playing, just like any other position.”

“Can he do it by himself? No; I don’t think anybody can,” the coach says. “… They still have to be able to do some other things. If they win, it’s not going to be because of Tyler Palko. They’re going to win because the Kansas City Chiefs went out and did what they needed to do.”

The elder Palko says the Chiefs will have to design a game plan to support Palko’s athletic ability and capacity to manage a game. More than that, the team will have to trust in Palko’s mind, which has been preparing to scratch this itch for nearly three decades.

“Do I think he can do it? Yeah, I know he can do it,” Bob Palko says. “Is he good enough? We’re about to find out, I guess.”

How much can one team take? Cassel’s injury is just another significant blow to this team. The Chiefs already lost star running back Jamaal Charles, star safety Eric Berry, and standout tight end Tony Moeaki to season-ending knee injuries. All of those injuries happened in September. These are the core players of this team.

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