In a move that will immediately win Kansas City Chiefs interim head coach Romeo Crennel points among fans, Tyler Palko will be headed to the bench. Recently acquired Kyle Orton will get the start if he is healthy and if he is unable to go then rookie Ricky Stanzi will make his NFL debut.
Palko took over the Chiefs offense when starter Matt Cassel went down for the season with a hand injury against the Denver Broncos. The journeyman started four games, winning just once when another backup QB (Caleb Hanie of the Chicago Bears) put up a worse performance.
For the season Palko completed nearly 60 percent of his 134 attempts for 796 yards, two touchdowns and seven interception.
Orton made a one play appearance against the Bears after being picked up on waivers from the Denver Broncos, but dislocated his finger on his only attempt of the game. He was limited in practice last week and was inactive for Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets.
Stanzi was the No. 2 quarterback against the Jets, but the fifth-round pick has yet to throw an NFL pass. Despite never having seen him in a regular season games, fans were clamoring for Stanzi to make an appearance as Palko continued to struggle.
At the tail end of the Chiefs loss to the Jets, there was a small — but loud — group of fans chanting “We Want Stanzi” as former head coach Todd Haley reviewed plays with all of his quarterbacks on the bench.
Considering how bad Palko has played, this was a decision that Crennel had to make. It would be hard for him to justify running Palko back out with an offense that has been one of the worst in the league since they lost Cassel.