The Chiefs announced that QB Matt Cassel underwent an appendectomy on Wednesday. They said that the procedure was successful and that Cassel is expected to return to work this week.
Cassel missed practice Wednesday with what the team originally reported as an illness. QB Tyler Palko was signed off the practice squad earlier in the day, likely as insurance.
Cassel, 28, is in the midst of his best season as a pro. He has thrown 23 touchdown passes and only four interceptions and has a 98.4 passer rating. He also has led the Chiefs to an 8-4 record and first place in the AFC West.
The way we see it
It's surprising that the Chiefs expect Cassel to return so quickly after having his appendix removed, but that seems to be the team's belief. It's always possible that they could be trying to throw off this week's opponent, the Chargers, by making San Diego prepare for Cassel instead of backup Brodie Croyle, who took all of the first-team reps in Wednesday's practice. Although the Chiefs always have liked Croyle, he is far from a proven commodity, having started only nine games since entering the league in 2006. Cassel's ability to manage games has been a major reason why the Chiefs have been so successful this season, and it remains to be seen if Croyle can do the same thing in a critical AFC West contest.
Anyone planning on starting Cassel this week better have a Plan B, as there's no guarantee he suits up on Sunday. WR Dwayne Bowe's stock also would take a hit if Croyle were to start, as the Chiefs don't have anywhere near the same chemistry. It doesn't help matters that San Diego has the league's No. 1-ranked pass defense.