oth the Chiefs and Bears had their regular quarterbacks go down with hand injuries within a one-week span, with Kansas City’s Matt Cassel sustaining a season-ending fracture in his club’s 17-10 loss to Denver on Nov. 13 and Chicago triggerman Jay Cutler breaking his right thumb in the defending NFC North champion’s 31-20 victory over San Diego the following Sunday. That prompted each to put in a waiver claim for Orton, cut loose by the Broncos on Nov. 22 after being supplanted by Tim Tebow for the No. 1 job, with the Chiefs winning the bid by virtue of the worse record than the Bears.
Meantime, nickel back D.J. Moore is questionable to return to action this weekend after missing the previous two games due to a sprained ankle. If Moore is inactive for the third consecutive week, Corey Graham will once again handle the nickel duties versus Kansas City. The Bears defense hasn’t missed a beat with Graham, who has intercepted a pass in each of the last three contests while filling in for Moore.
Following a week of practices where Tyler Palko and Kyle Orton essentially split first-team reps, it will be Palko who makes the start under center for the Chiefs on Sunday.
“We’ve had to prepare Orton to get ready to play and he may have to, but he may not,” head coach Todd Haley said. “We’re really focused on how we want to start this game and we know what we need to do.”
The start will be Palko’s third straight since Matt Cassel was placed on injured reserve with a hand injury. Orton last played on October 9th in Denver’s 29-24 loss to San Diego.