Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel will have to pass all the tests in the NFL's protocol for concussions before he'll be allowed back on the field, leaving his prognosis for this week very much up in the air..
Cassel suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens. If he is unable to go this week, Brady Quinn would get the start against the Buccaneers at Tampa Bay.
Quinn, who stepped in Sunday when Cassel got hurt, is going to get the bulk of the practice snaps when the Chiefs return to work Wednesday.
Before Sunday, the last time Quinn played was Dec. 20, 2009. That was with the Cleveland Browns, when they beat the Chiefs 41-34 at Arrowhead Stadium. He missed the last two games of that season with an injury and then spent two years with the Denver Broncos, for whom he didn't get off the bench.
"It felt great to be out there," Quinn said. "I was comfortable. I'm just here to support my teammates. Matt is our starter, and I just prepare every week like I am a starter, and I prepare myself for that moment."
Quinn went into the game with 9 minutes, 37 seconds to play in the game after Cassel took a big hit from Baltimore defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. There was no time to warm up but for a few tosses on the sideline. The Chiefs were down 9-3 and held the ball at their own 46-yard line.
The offense converted a third-and-7 play on a Quinn-to-Dwayne Bowe 20-yard gain. Five plays later, Quinn again found Bowe on a slant that went for a touchdown, but wide receiver Dexter McCluster was called for offensive pass interference. Quinn hit running back Cyrus Gray for 12 yards but could not move the sticks, and Ryan Succop kicked a field goal, cutting the deficit to three points.
Quinn was 3-for-3 for 32 yards, but he didn't get back on the field. Baltimore held the ball and ran out the clock.
"I think it would have been tougher had it not been during a series," Quinn said of his entrance into the huddle. "It's understood by everyone that the series is still going on, we have to make plays and continue, keep the drive going."
Quinn said at no time during the week of preparation or during the game was he told to do anything out of the ordinary, so he went about his regular routine.
"Everyone is behind him, gives him confidence and everything else to prepare him," Quinn said of Cassel. "We hope he is OK with everything that happened, and like I said, that's the role I came here to fill.
"I just try to prepare every week as if I am going to start the game. That's something that's never changed."