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The Clock Ticks As We Wait for Decision on Chiefs QB Cassel

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel has cleared the first hurdle in his quest to start the home opener against the Oakland Raiders.

He will practice today.

"A guy has to practice to have a chance to play," head coach Todd Haley said last week. "That’s my main philosophy: you’ve got to practice to play. That’s what I’m going off of and then at that point you evaluate if they’re helping you more or hurting you more."

Of course, Cassel practiced last week. But, by many accounts, including Larry Johnson's, he's much better.

"Matt looked good," LJ said this week. "He bounced around, still had the same energy and same excitement so it was good to see him back in there. Yeah he seems a little more adjusted to the whole knee brace thing and being able to move around. So, each day he's getting a lot better."

Last week, both Haley and Cassel said the decision would likely go right up to game time. This time around, however, Haley indicated he expects a decision before then.

Like today.

"Hopefully, we have a clearer picture tomorrow with two days away from the game," Haley said after saying he won't pin himself down to one day.

So, it looks like Haley and the rest of the coaching staff expect a decision today. And, unless Cassel has taken a dramatic step backwards, it appears he'll play. If the staff is making the decision two days beforehand, then he'll play. If they had to, they would wait it out to game time like last week.

As Josh Looney said this morning, though, whether the Chiefs announce that decision is another story.

Who are the Raiders expecting to see take the first snap?

"Cassel," head coach Tom Cable said earlier this week.