Chiefs to start Matt Cassel at quarterback against Chargers because Brady Quinn still injured

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Chiefs Head Coach Romeo Crennel wanted to start Brady Quinn at quarterback the rest of the season, but that won't happen this week.

The Chiefs will start Matt Cassel at quarterback on Thursday instead of Quinn, who started last week. Former Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi will be the backup.

Crennel said Tuesday doctors have yet to clear Quinn to practice. Quinn left last Sunday's 26-16 loss against the Raiders in the first quarter with a head injury. It's unclear how long Quinn will be out.

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"They haven't given me any indication other than the fact that he can't play on Thursday," Crennel said. "I think there are more tests that they are running. After they evaluate those tests, then they'll let me know more."

Cassel could have started last week's game, but Crennel decided to make a change at quarterback. Yahoo Sports reported Cassel took most of the first team snaps two weeks ago during the bye week, but Crennel switched to Quinn as the starter for the first time this season.

It didn't work.

Now, Cassel has another opportunity to start.

"Sometimes a second chance energizes a guy," Crennel said. "I think that Matt is a team guy. He wants the team to do well whatever role that he's in. Hey, he didn't like it, but he said, ‘I'm going to do my job. I'm a Chief, and I'm going to be ready if I'm called on.' That's the way he prepared during the week. I think that's the way he's going to prepare this week, that he's a Chief.

"He knows that he's going to play, and he's going to do the best that he can," Crennel added. "We have to help him as well. If we all take the same attitude, then we will play a good game on Thursday."

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Cassel came in for Quinn in the second quarter of last Sunday's game. He threw one touchdown but also threw an interception. Cassel failed to get the Chiefs into the end zone until 2:27 remained in the game.

"To think that he didn't practice, get any practice reps, but he prepared mentally as if he was going to play," Crennel said, "that allowed him to come into the game and be able to move us a little bit and spark us, but still some of the same things that have been biting us all year long continued. Like I said, we have to eliminate those things."

The 1-6 Chiefs have lost four straight games heading into Thursday night's matchup at San Diego.

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