KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Brady Quinn is getting another shot on the Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback merry-go-round.
Coach Romeo Crennel announced Wednesday that Quinn will start Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos, regaining the job he lost when he sustained a concussion against Oakland.
Quinn was cleared to play last week against Cincinnati and came on at halftime for ineffective Matt Cassel, who started the season before sustaining his own concussion against Baltimore.
“I like his leadership qualities and he’s had experience with a couple of different teams and he’s seen a couple of different things,” Crennel said of his former first-round pick, who has yet to truly break through as an NFL starter. “I think that will bode well for him.”
Quinn started against Tampa Bay because Cassel hadn’t been cleared following his concussion on Oct. 7. After the bye week, Crennel announced that he was sticking with Quinn, even though Cassel was ready to go, because he wanted to shake up what had been a struggling team.
He never got a chance to see whether it worked.
Quinn sustained a concussion against the Raiders in the first quarter the following week, and later admitted that he tried to keep playing despite having “tunnel vision.”
Cassel finished out the game and has started the past three weeks, but the team hasn’t looked any different than early in the year. The Chiefs are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak that’s dropped them to 1-9, tied for last in the NFL, and created such fan discontent that banners asking for general manager Scott Pioli’s job have become commonplace at Arrowhead Stadium.
Perhaps by starting Quinn, Crennel will finally get that much-needed boost, only about a month after the Chiefs’ coach hoped it would happen.
“That’s the thing, you know, to give him enough time to try to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish when I made the move, to try to change the dynamic of the team,” Crennel said. “He had his injury and wasn’t able to fulfill it, so now that he’s cleared and he’s back healthy, give him that opportunity to do that. We’ll see how it plays out.”
Quinn will have an opportunity to finally show what he can do against Broncos coach John Fox, who never played him last season while jockeying between Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow.
“If I had a regret, it was not having an opportunity to see him play in the regular season,” Fox said. “He has all the tools.”
Quinn said he’s not seeking redemption, merely trying to help the Chiefs finally get a win.
“I know I really enjoyed the teammates I had there. I tried to get better every day, and I think I got better,” he said. “I can’t really speak about what did or didn’t happen.”
Crennel said that Cassel will return to the second string, making him one of the highest-paid backups in the NFL. Ricky Stanzi remains the Chiefs’ third QB, and Crennel was noncommittal when asked Wednesday whether the former fifth-round pick would be active against Denver.
Much of that decision will come down to who is inactive due to injuries.
Leading wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has been limited in practice with a neck injury sustained during an awkward fall last week against the Bengals. Tight ends Steve Maneri and Tony Moeaki, and wide receiver Jon Baldwin, are all practicing to various degrees because of nagging injuries.
Then there’s the offensive line, which is just as unsettled as the quarterback job.
Left tackle Branden Albert hasn’t done much in practice this week after hurting his back against Cincinnati. Ryan Lilja, who slid to center from guard when Rodney Hudson was lost for the season to a broken leg, was inactive last week with a knee injury. Jon Asamoah had surgery on his thumb and was being fitted for a cast that could allow him to play.
None of them were on the field by the end of last Sunday’s game – rookies Donald Stephenson and Jeff Allen have been pressed into duty, along with backups Russ Hochstein and Bryan Mattison, joining left tackle Eric Winston on the patchwork protection unit.
“You work with the guys you have here, try to put them in the best situation you can so you can be as effective as you can be,” Crennel said. “We’ll just have to do what we feel is best.”