So if a guy has an appendectomy Wednesday, can he play football Sunday? What about the next Sunday? Might he be out the rest of the year?
Since the news broke that Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel underwent an appendectomy this week, speculation has abounded about when he’ll be able to return for the AFC West-leading Chiefs, who face San Diego Sunday.
Coach Todd Haley, who at first characterized Cassel’s absence as “an illness,’’ refused yesterday to elaborate.
“I appreciate the desire for all the Cassel questions that are probably out there,’’ Haley said. “But I’m just going to keep it as I always do. He’ll be listed as out today on the injury report, meaning he did not practice. Then we’ll have his status tomorrow. I’ll just leave it at that.’’
The most optimistic fans have Cassel trading his hospital gown for shoulder pads and starting in San Diego. They’re encouraged knowing that Ben Roethlisberger missed only one game for the Steelers after an emergency appendectomy right before the 2006 season.
Pessimists are saying Cassel’s gone for at least two weeks — games at San Diego and St. Louis — and perhaps longer. Having to go with injury-prone backup Brodie Croyle — 0-9 as an NFL starter — has them fearing the ruin of what’s been shaping up as Kansas City’s best season since 2003.
Croyle hasn’t taken one snap in a game all season and has not started a game since the 2009 season opener, when Cassel was hurt.
Derek Anderson sat out practice again because he had not been cleared to participate after a concussion sidelined him late in Sunday’s 19-6 loss to St. Louis. That left Skelton and newly signed Richard Bartel the only quarterbacks to practice. Bartel had been a third-stringer with Washington and most recently was Daunte Culpepper’s backup for Sacramento of the UFL.
Anderson said he has had several concussions and started feeling better Wednesday. “But I still haven’t passed the quiz,’’ he said.
Whisenhunt said Skelton, a 6-foot-6-inch fifth-round draft pick out of Fordham, “is making progress.’’
“I’ll tell you what, he’s here morning, noon, and night,’’ Whisenhunt said. “The hard part is taking it from the learning aspect and executing it on the field, but he’s working hard at it.’’