Since the Kansas City Chiefs have not come out with definite word on Matt Cassel's injury, there's no way of knowing the extent or severity of the situation facing the team as they get ready for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills. From the top, then, it should be noted that Cassel could definitely still play in the opener since many players have played with cracked or even fractured ribs in the last two seasons.
However, the latest story from Adam Teicher at the Star notes that Tyler Palko, the Chiefs No. 2 quarterback, was given the heads-up about his chances of playing right after the last preseason game. As Teicher writes, "A source close to the situation said Chiefs coach Todd Haley told Palko after the game, 'You’d better be ready to play Sunday.'"
Teicher's entire column is a good read for a bit of Palko's history and some perspective on what could happen, but the bottom line is that no one knows at this point what will happen. Ben Roethlisberger, Brett Favre, Tom Brady and Donovan McNabb are some of the best QBs in recent NFL history. They've also all played -- and won -- with cracked or fractured ribs. Cassel's injury is by no means a white flag on the season opener.
But it's possible the injury could be located in a place that makes it impossible to protect and simply play through. The lack of details do not allow for anything more than conjecture at this point. But Chiefs fans must come to terms that Tyler Palko could actually start a game that means something -- the same thing Todd Haley was apparently trying to get his own QB to realize.