Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Your wish has been granted, Cassel-haters

Something had to give, right?

It's mid-December. The Chiefs are 8-4 and hold a two-game lead in the AFC West. A win this Sunday in San Diego, and the team would have all but wrapped up the division.

Oh, and yesterday, the team (because of timing, not arrogance) began sending out e-mails discussing playoff-ticket options for its season-ticket holders.

Then, the appendectomy.

Yep. Too good to be true.

According to the Chiefs, starting quarterback, Matt Cassel underwent an appendectomy procedure Wednesday that may force him to miss this Sunday's showdown against the Chargers and beyond. How far beyond, though, is yet to be determined.

My initial reaction was that, considering (at least the perception of) Cassel's competitiveness, combined with the magnitude of the Chargers game, number-seven would be behind center for the red and gold this Sunday afternoon. Also, The Kansas City Star and sports-radio 810 WHB have both relayed, respectively, through the expertise of practicing surgeons that it's likely Cassel's procedure was performed through laparoscopic surgery, making the recovery time much less significant.

Upon further consideration, though, I'm not sure I'd be holding my breath for Cassel to suit up. Under Todd Haley, the Chiefs have shown a tendency to err on the side of caution as opposed to risking further injury when it comes to its banged-up personnel. There's no reason to believe Cassel would be any different.

In fact, you'd think, if anything, they'd be more cautious with their starting quarterback.

For now, though, he's listed as questionable. The Chiefs are calling it a "50/50" Cassel will play, but that's no surprise as, by definition, a questionable status in the NFL means there's a fifty percent chance that player go.

In 2006, Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger underwent the same procedure and missed just one game as he recovered. Other members of the media, though,  have voiced their concern Cassel will be out for the remainder of the regular-season.

Don't count on it.

In the meantime, fifth-year veteran Brodie Croyle will get the reps with the first-team offense. Croyle, a third-round pick from Alabama, last started a game in 2009, a 38-24 season-opening loss in Baltimore. He is winless in his nine previous starts in the NFL.

The Star's story on Cassel's surgery included an interesting tidbit from California surgeon, Matthew Lublin, on the chances the quarterback will be able to play.

"It's really a matter of his pain threshold and how he feels," he said, according to The Star. "If he feels OK, I think he would be able to play."

So it's a matter of Cassel's toughness? Maybe...

There's certainly an argument to be made for the fact that Cassel, playing so soon after his surgery, wouldn't really be risking any further damage or injury, and it's just a question as to how much pain is too much.

I'm not quite ready to go that far, but a suited-up Cassel in San Diego would be a real testament to his dedication.

Personally, I'm betting on a Croyle-led Chiefs squad in San Diego. Apparently, the Cassel-haters weren't careful about what they wished for, because they got it. As for what exactly it is, stay tuned this Sunday.

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