KANSAS CITY, Mo, (AP) — Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel was back on the practice field Wednesday, but whether he will start Sunday against the Rams remained uncertain.
Cassel, who had an emergency appendectomy last week, worked on handoffs to running backs Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones, and completed 40-yard passes to wide receivers Terrence Cooper and rookie Verran Tucker in non-contact drills in a brief period when practice was open to the media.
“It’s a day-to-day thing,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. “It’s not any kind of level of secrecy. I don’t think we’ll know (until late in week). We’ve just got to see how he responds each and every day.
“I don’t think there is anyway to predict how he is going to move though the week. He was out there (Wednesday) in a limited capacity. It’s not your normal injury situation that you normally deal with. There are a lot of factors in play.”
Cassel smiled and said, “hopefully, 99.999 percent” he would play Sunday at St. Louis.
“I really don’t know,” Cassel said. “Right now, I think we’re day-to-day. The medical staff, the trainers will discuss it and we’ll proceed with caution and see where I’m at.
“I think medically there are a number of different issues that come up with a procedure like this in terms of just how I feel. If I can go out there and do everything I want to do without any discomfort, without any pain then I’m going to go out and play.”
Cassel said he took “a lot of snaps” in practice.
With Cassel out at San Diego last weekend, the Chiefs’ offense staggered with Brodie Croyle at quarterback. The Chiefs lost 31-0 with the offense managing just 67 yards, five first downs and a woeful 0-for-11 on third down conversions.
“It wasn’t what we expected,” Croyle said Wednesday. “It wasn’t what I expected. We fully thought we were going to go out there and run the game plan the way it was supposed to be executed and we didn’t do it. We didn’t score points. It’s disappointing, but we’re moving on. We still have three games to go.”
The Chiefs are 0-10 when Croyle, a 2006 third-round pick out of Alabama, starts. Croyle said despite the poor offense performance against the Chargers his confidence level is good.
“I’m fine,” Croyle said. “I’ve been around long enough to know it’s not always going to go your way. You just have to regroup and get ready for the next week. That’s the great part about pro football, there’s always another week.”
Croyle said he is preparing as if he is going to start against the Rams.
If Cassel plays, he could wear a protective jacket.
“If they recommend that, that’s something we’ll definitely try to use during practice, so you just get a feel for it,” Cassel said.
When Cassel came in last Wednesday with abdomen pain, he did not believe it was serious.
“I really didn’t know what an appendix was until they told me,” he said. “I thought I was going to come in and take some Pepto-Bismol and we were going to run. Unfortunately, it was a little more severe than that. I feel like a new man with it out.”
Kansas City (8-5) has a one-game lead over San Diego (7-6) with three games remaining, all against sub-.500 teams. The Chiefs have lost five of seven road games and St. Louis is their final away game, but the Rams are 4-2 at home.
“We’re in a tight division race and we know that,” Cassel said. “We know the games continue to get bigger and bigger in each of these games in December.”