Tom Brady has his leg buckled by Kansas City Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard, bottom, during the first quarter.
(Stew Milne/US PRESSWIRE)
While New England coach Bill Belichick said in his postgame press conference that he had no update on the status of Brady's injury, two sources indicated it involved serious damage to the knee.
"It's bad," a team source said. "We're going to have to play without him."
Brady was hurt as he stepped up in the pocket to make a throw to wideout Randy Moss. Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard, who was on the ground, lunged forward and struck Brady's leg, which buckled as he released the ball.
Brady was helped off the field and was later led down a staircase by team officials, presumably to undergo tests.
Fourth-year quarterback Matt Cassel, who had thrown just 39 passes in his career before Sunday, replaced Brady and completed 13 of 18 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown. Cassel, who backed up Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC, hasn't been a starting quarterback since high school. He won a competition with Matt Gutierrez during the preseason to retain the job as Brady's primary backup.