The Chiefs placed QB Matt Cassel on injured reserve before Monday night's game against the Patriots and promoted WR Jeremy Horne to the active roster.
Head coach Todd Haley confirmed on Monday that Cassel has a broken right (throwing) hand. The QB suffered the injury in last week's loss to the Broncos. The team referred to the injury as "significant" but waited until Monday to place him on I.R. ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss first reported the transaction would occur.
Cassel threw 10 touchdown passes and nine interceptions this season after a 27-7 TD-interception ratio in 2010 when the Chiefs won the AFC West.
Tyler Palko will start Monday night against the Patriots. He has attempted only 13 passes in his career. Rookie Ricky Stanzi is currently the team's backup.
Horne has played in three games this season.
The way we see it
Cassel was not having a great season by any measurement, but the drop-off from him to Palko is a steep one. The Chiefs have transitioned this season from a running team to a throwing one because of several injuries. However with their QB now done for the year, expect the team to try to control the clock and limit mistakes by handing off more frequently.
The injury also opens up questions for the Chiefs' long-term future at the position. If the team slides, as expected, over the final seven weeks of the season, they could have an opportunity to select a top prospect in a deep draft class for quarterbacks. Cassel has shown that he's solid but not spectacular since arriving at K.C. in 2009, and the Chiefs might opt to find his replacement soon, especially if the hand injury has a chance to linger over the remainder of his career.