QB Quinn likely to start Sunday for KC; struggling Gabbert remains Jags' starter
Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel, who suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against Baltimore, is unlikely to play in next weekend's game at Tampa Bay. That means Brady Quinn is preparing to start an NFL game for the first time in nearly three years.
Cassel was hit by the Ravens' Haloti Ngata while completing a pass to Jamaal Charles in the Chiefs' 9-6 loss. He remained on the ground for several minutes before walking off the field and straight to the locker room. Quinn finished Kansas City's final offensive series.
"Some individuals recover faster than others," Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said, "but with the emphasis on concussions in the league, they're making sure we do due diligence with the player's health, making sure he's not rushed back, so we'll see."
Crennel didn't officially rule Cassel out against the Buccaneers, but he said that Quinn and third-string quarterback Ricky Stanzi would be preparing to play.
Cassel, a former Pro Bowl quarterback has struggled mightily the past two seasons, and his troubles this year have been especially glaring. He is completing 58.5 percent of his passes and has been intercepted a league-leading nine time and has only five touchdown passes. That's part of the reason some fans raised enough money to hire a plane to tow a banner before Sunday's game pleading for Cassel to be benched, and why a small segment of the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium cheered when he got hurt — drawing the ire of right tackle Eric Winston and his teammates, and touching off a national debate about boorish behavior of some fans.
Quinn's last start, coincidentally, came at Arrowhead Stadium as a member of the Browns. He threw for 66 yards and two interceptions in a 41-34 victory on Dec. 20, 2009. Quinn was hurt during the game and missed the rest of the season, and hadn't played in a regular-season game again until pressed into duty Sunday.
Jaguars • Coach Mike Mularkey reiterated that he has no plans to bench quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who had another poor outing Sunday in a 41-3 loss at home to Chicago. Gabbert, who is from the University of Missouri and Parkway West High, was 17 of 33 passing for 142 yards and was intercepted twice — both of which were returned for touchdowns.
For the season he has completed just 55 percent of his passes for 796 yards, with five TDs and three interceptions. The Jaguars (1-4) are off to their worst offensive start since the team's inaugural season — a woeful first five games that could have new owner Shad Khan questioning the direction of the franchise.
The Jaguars are averaging 241 yards a game this season, at the bottom of the league again. And they have lost three home games by a combined score of 95-20.
Mularkey considered turning to backup quarterback Chad Henne on Sunday, but opted to give Gabbert much-needed experience in the no-huddle offense.
Jacksonville wrote off Gabbert's rookie season by saying he had no offseason, a lame-duck coaching staff and not enough talent around him. Now, after three dismal home games and several key mistakes, Mularkey insists Gabbert will improve. The team is off next week.
"Blaine is still a young player,'' Mularkey said. "I think each game is going to make him a better player, and it has. We've got to help him. I'm not going to say he's where we want him. I don't think he will say that. He still has things he's got to do better."
Redskins • Quarterback Robert Griffin III felt good enough to attend something called a "Rookie Success Program'' meeting Monday morning and seemed, by all accounts, to be doing just fine on the day after suffering his first NFL concussion. He still has to complete the league's mandated return-to-play protocol before he's cleared for practice, but coach Mike Shanahan was optimistic the reigning Heisman Trophy winner will be able to play in this weekend's game, against Minnesota.
Titans • Coach Mike Munchak said quarterback Jake Locker will miss his second straight game, because of a shoulder injury, when Tennessee faces Pittsburgh on Thursday night. He said Locker is improving but Matt Hasselbeck will get his second straight start because of the short week. Munchak also said that backup running back Javon Ringer will be out four to six weeks because of a sprained knee, an injury he suffered Sunday.
Vikings • Team officials are trying to determine why wide receiver Jerome Simpson still had numbness and weakness in his lower left leg Monday, ailments that hindered him Sunday. Also, running back Adrian Peterson suffered a mild sprain of his left ankle that he played through, finishing with 88 yards on 17 rushes. Frazier said the Vikings don't see "anything that will keep him from playing" on Sunday at Washington.
Cardinals • Ryan Williams is out for the season because of a shoulder injury he suffered last week while playing against the Rams. The team already is without fellow running back Beanie Wells until at least Thanksgiving weekend because of a severe turf toe injury. Arizona is down to running backs LaRod Stephens-Howling, William Powell and Alfonso Smith. Stephens-Howling missed the last two games because of a hip ailment.
Bengals • Backup running back Bernard Scott will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury. The club filled his roster spot by activating linebacker Dontay Moch, who had been suspended for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Packers • Running back Cedric Benson, who left Sunday's game because of a sprained foot, has been ruled out for next Sunday's game, against Houtson.
Giants • The NFL suspended rookie safety Will Hill for four games for using Adderall, the same stimulant prescription drug that teammate Tyler Sash used. The Giants announced Hill's suspension Monday, the same day Sash's suspension ended.
Browns • Cornerback Joe Haden returned to the team after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on banned substances.
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