Cassel has Appendectomy, Croyle Might Start

December 9th, 2010 by Lee Eldridge

I miss Joe Posnanski at the Star. The more I read from Sam Mellinger and Kent Babb, the less I like them. This morning, Sam is whining about what a terrible time this is for Cassel to miss a game (read Bad time to see Croyle). In case you missed the news, quarterback Matt Cassel had an emergency appendectomy on Wednesday. When Ben Roethlisberger had an emergency appendectomy a few years ago, he missed one game, and played in the next. In Adam Teicher’s article in the Star (Chiefs QB Cassel’s status up in air after appendectomy), he quotes Matthew Lublin, a general surgeon at St. John’s Health Center who says:

If he (Cassel) feels up to it, I certainly don’t see any reason he couldn’t play. In any surgery, you’re really recovering from the scar. It’s a small scar he’ll have since I assume it was done laparoscopically.

He’s not at a risk of popping or bursting or breaking anything or having any complication from surgery. It’s really a matter of his pain threshold and how he feels. If he feels OK, I think he would be able to play.

I’d be very impressed if he felt good enough to play Sunday. But I would not say it’s out of the realm of possibility.

I’ll be very surprised if Cassel plays. Why risk it right now? The Chiefs are two games up with four to play. If the Chiefs go 2-2 over these last four games, they’re virtually assured of winning the division. If they go 3-1, they win the division no matter what else happens. And I’ve never anticipated them winning this game anyway. The odds makers had the Chargers favored by seven BEFORE this happened to Cassel.

Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Brodie CroyleThe last time Brodie Croyle started a game was the 2009 season opener, on the road at Baltimore. A tough place to play against a very good defense. This was Todd Haley’s first game as head coach. Croyle went 16 for 24 with 2 TDs and no INTs. He had a passer rating of 116.1. He took care of the ball. Made good decisions. He’s got a fantastic arm. And he’s athletic. If Brodie wasn’t so fragile, he’d be a legitimate starting quarterback in the league.

Personally, I think this is a GREAT time to get Brodie a start. Much better to happen now than in a month when the Chiefs are preparing for their first playoff game in years.

Can the Chiefs beat the Chargers? The Raiders swept the Chargers this year, and beat them in San Diego last weekend 28-13. The Chargers have been a real mystery this year. They’re ranked #2 in total offense, and #1 in total defense, yet they’re 6-6 and on the verge of being eliminated from the playoffs. They have one of the most talented teams in football, but they can’t get out of their own way. They make mistakes, especially on special teams. If you’re a reader of this blog, you know how I feel about Norv Turner. He’s a terrible head coach. He will never take the Chargers to the Super Bowl.

Common sense may tell you that with Brodie Croyle starting his first game in more than a year, and the Chiefs with the #1 rushing offense in the league, that Kansas City should play it close to the vest this weekend. Protect Croyle by running Charles and Jones a lot. I’d like to see the Chiefs come out and attack. Be balanced and unpredictable. They can’t let the Chargers get their offense rolling and get down by a couple scores if they want to win. And a win on Sunday WILL eliminate the Chargers from the playoffs. That would be sweet for the Chiefs.

I don’t anticipate the Chiefs pulling this one off. They haven’t been very good on the road. But I’ll be cheering them on all the same.

Prediction: Chargers 24, Chiefs 17

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