Cassel's status for Week 1 still up in air

Updated: September 9, 2009, 3:46 PM ET
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel practiced for the second time this week, wearing a brace on his left knee as he went through individual drills Wednesday.

Cassel
Cassel

His status for Sunday's season opener at Baltimore? Still up in the air.

Unable to participate fully in practice, Cassel is listed as questionable against the Ravens and coach Todd Haley was again evasive on whether his $63 million quarterback would be available.

"He was out there, which was good. That's better than not being out there," Haley said. "He was able to get through some [drills], so that's going to be a situation we'll monitor as the week goes on. I don't know that we're going to have an answer right up until we play."

Cassel was injured in Kansas City's second preseason game on Aug. 29, when he was pulled down from behind by Seattle's Brandon Mebane. He returned to practice Monday, though in a limited role.

Without Cassel, the Chiefs' sputtering offense would seem to be at a monumental disadvantage against Baltimore's stingy defense. Brodie Croyle would likely get the start and he hasn't been the franchise quarterback former coach Herm Edwards had hoped, plagued by injuries last year and unable to get the offense into the end zone this preseason.

Of course, Cassel hasn't exactly looked like the player who led New England to 11 wins after Tom Brady got hurt last year.

The Chiefs traded for Cassel in the offseason, then signed him to a six-year contract that guarantees him $28 million. He was mostly average in training camp and saw limited time in the preseason, throwing for 114 yards and a touchdown on 11-of-19 passing.

The Seahawks game was supposed to be where the Chiefs got a good, long look at Cassel. Instead, he went down on the third play of the game and his first passing play.

Now, Cassel is trying to come back from an injury and get ready for a game with limited practice time -- against one of the NFL's best defenses, no less.

"They're obviously one of the great defenses over the last decade," Haley said. "Even though they've had to plug in different players in different roles, every year they've come and played defense."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press