When the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night, it will be Tyler Palko lining up at quarterback and not recently acquired Kyle Orton. After being awarded to the Chiefs via a waiver claim on Wednesday, Orton was unable to report to Kansas City Thursday due “family matters”, per the team’s official site.
Orton is expected to be at practice on Friday and head coach Todd Haley said that he could still hit the field with his new team.
“We’re ahead of the game trying to get him at least up to speed offensively with terminology, all those things,” Haley said. “I wouldn’t think that he’d be terribly in a bad position to have a chance to be out there, but it would be in a depth situation, any scenario that I see.”
With a defense as strong as the Steelers coming to town, it’s best to give Orton an entire week to fill in the gaps in the offense. He’s played in similar systems, but it will take more than a couple of days to get him ready for Pittsburgh.
It’s important to remember that it’s not as if he’s been playing all season. Since losing his starting job with the Denver Broncos to Tim Tebow, Orton has more or less been the third string quarterback.
When asked about his new QB on Thursday, Haley went back to his standard line about competition and depth while commenting that Palko was the starter. The Chiefs shouldn’t fool around with that line of thinking too long after Sunday night’s game. It’s important that they quickly push Orton to the top of the depth chart because no matter how you feel about this acquisition, there is no argument who the better quarterback is between the two.