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06-18-2006, 10:42 AM
Chiefs will face teams with QB issues

Four opponents have passers who have struggled with health.


The Kansas City Star

One quarterback crisis after another seems to be afflicting teams on the Chiefs’ 2006 schedule.

The facial injuries sustained by Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in a motorcycle accident last week means at least seven of the Chiefs’ 13 opponents — including all four AFC North teams — will enter training camp next month with huge questions at quarterback because of major injuries or inexperience at the position.

Besides Roethlisberger, who is expected to need six to eight weeks to recover from his multiple injuries, Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer and Miami’s Daunte Culpepper are coming off major reconstructive knee surgeries. And Baltimore’s recently acquired Steve McNair is a walking version of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

“Teams react differently to adversity,” Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen said. “Some teams thrive on it, and some teams can’t handle it. The backup quarterbacks have the time right now to prepare as starters. They’re in the NFL for a reason, and some come in and do a heck of a job.

“Personally, I like to play teams at their best. I don’t want any excuses of why we won. But if their quarterbacks can’t go, obviously that’s an advantage to us.”

Here’s a look at the Chiefs’ opponents with quarterback questions.

Sept. 10 vs. Cincinnati

Palmer is recovering from surgery to repair torn ligaments, a dislocated knee cap and cartilage damage in his left knee that was injured in a playoff loss to Pittsburgh in January. Palmer has vowed to be ready for the season opener at Arrowhead Stadium, but that would be exactly eight months since his surgery, which is a pretty quick recovery.

“I definitely get that itch (to play), but I’ve got to stay patient and wait my turn,” said Palmer, who is throwing passes during low-intensity drills with receivers.

Oct. 15 at Pittsburgh

Roethlisberger suffered a concussion, multiple facial fractures, a broken nose and broken upper and lower jaw that required seven hours of surgery. He will be able to eat soft foods instead of being restricted to a liquid diet as originally feared, so he shouldn’t lose much weight from his 240-pound frame.

Though the Steelers are optimistic Roethlisberger will be ready for their Sept. 7 regular-season opener — and certainly by the time they play the Chiefs — there’s little question the Steelers will take every precaution before exposing him to head-hunting pass rushers.

Nov. 12 at Miami

Culpepper was acquired from Minnesota in an offseason trade and is recovering from surgery to repair three knee ligaments that were torn last Oct. 30.

During last weekend’s minicamp, Culpepper showed how far along he is in his recovery with his drop-backs and mobility but is still unwilling to promise he will be ready for the Sept. 7 regular-season opener at Pittsburgh.

“That’s the perfect world,” Culpepper said. “I would love that, but I’m not making any predictions. That’s my goal, but there are limitations with an injury like this. It’s a work in progress.”

Dec. 10 vs. Baltimore

McNair was acquired from Tennessee and brings a medical history almost as long as his passing statistics. Since becoming the Titans’ starter in 1997, McNair, a three-time Pro Bowler and former co-MVP, has had at least six surgeries involving his right knee, lower back, left big toe, right shoulder, left ankle and sternum. He may not be standing by the time the Ravens come to Arrowhead.

Quarterback status of Chiefs opponents




Carson Palmer...Anthony Wright...Sept. 10 is eight months since Palmer’s major knee surgery.


Jake Plummer...Jay Cutler...Cutler’s presence could turn Plummer into a basket case.

San Francisco

Alex Smith...Trent Dilfer...Smith was 2-5 as a rookie with 1 TD, 11 INTs.


Kurt Warner...Matt Leinart...Warner, 35, hasn’t played 16 games since 2001.


Ben Roethlisberger...Charlie Batch...Big Ben’s injuries could have been worse.

San Diego

Philip Rivers...A.J. Feeley...Rivers has yet to start an NFL game.


Matt Hasselbeck...Seneca Wallace...Hasselbeck should have won Super Bowl.

St. Louis

Marc Bulger...Gus Frerotte...Bulger missed eight games last year because of shoulder injury.


Daunte Culpepper...Joey Harrington...Harrington is a good insurance policy.


Aaron Brooks...Marques Tuiasosopo...Watch for third-teamer Andrew Walter.


Charlie Frye...Ken Dorsey...Frye made five starts as a rookie, winning two.


Steve McNair...Kyle Boller...McNair, 33, hasn’t played 16 games since 2002.


Byron Leftwich...David Garrard...Garrard could start for a lot of teams.

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To reach Randy Covitz, NFL writer for The Star, call (816) 234-4796 or send e-mail to rcovitz@kcstar.com (rcovitz@kcstar.com)


06-18-2006, 11:10 AM
We have the Best QB out of that entire list.

I look for the the Chiefs to get a big lead, control the clock with their running game, and force the other team to pass so we can blitz them every play.

06-18-2006, 11:28 AM
16-0 baby!!! YEAHHH!!!! Ok, anything but 13-3?

Chief Roundup
06-18-2006, 05:42 PM
That sounds like a good thing but then I remember that in the past our D has made backup QB's look good.