Brodie Croyle kept getting hurt and Tyler Thigpen seemed ill-suited for an NFL offense, so the Kansas City Chiefs traded for Matt Cassel and gave him a guaranteed $28 million contract before the first snap.
Now Cassel is hurt, Croyle is healthy and Thigpen is probably still ill-suited. But either he or Croyle could start against the tough defense of the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 13 in the season opener.
Cassel injured his knee in Saturday night's preseason loss to Seattle and the Chiefs may be down to Croyle and Thigpen, who between them are 1-18 as NFL starters.
The decision will be up to head coach Todd Haley, who stirred his team's murky waters even further on Monday by firing Chan Gailey as offensive coordinator and assuming the role himself, just 13 days before opening his first season as a head coach.
"It's almost unheard of that you have something like that happen right now," Thigpen said. "We've got to take responsibility."
Haley refused to breathe a word about the status of Cassel or any of his other injured starters. But Yahoo! Sports, citing a source in the organization, reported he sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee and could miss two to four weeks.
The players indicated they had no inkling how long Cassel might be gone.
"It's unfortunate for Matt," Croyle said. "Who knows the timetable when he'll be back? If it comes time to go, I'll just have to be ready."