The Kansas City Chiefs are playing the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football and just a few hours prior to game time they placed QB Matt Cassel on injured reserve, officially ending his season. That means KC now enter the Tyler Palko era.
The normal reaction this is: Who in the world is Tyler Palko?
(Insert joke about Shane Falco and The Replacements.)
He actually has an interesting story considering he's a 28-year old journeyman.
Palko went to the University of Pittsburgh where he beat out Joe Flacco (yes, that one) for the starting job. Flacco transferred to Delaware, became a star and later a first round pick. Meanwhile, Pitt changed head coaches, which meant a new offense that didn't fit Palko. His once bright future headed the wrong way and he was undrafted.
Palko, 28, bounced around a few NFL teams, even entering the CFL and later getting cut. He was with the Cardinals briefly before Todd Haley left Arizona so when Haley was hired by the Chiefs and he had an opportunity to bring Palko in last year he went ahead and did it.
Palko has thrown 13 career regular season passes prior to Monday night's game against New England. He's a coach's son, very hard worker and understands the offensive concepts very well. His problem isn't preparation -- it's talent. He's never demonstrated an ability to competently lead an NFL offense, albeit with limited opportunities.
The odds are clearly stacked against Palko but there's some hope that he won't completely lay an egg.