The Kansas City Chiefs lost much more than their third preseason game Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Kansas City Chiefs lost much more than their third preseason game Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium.

On the third play of the game, quarterback Matt Cassel, the Chiefs’ $63 million signee, was sacked by Seattle’s Brandon Mebane.

Cassel got up gingerly, walked to the huddle, then called timeout and hobbled off the field. He left the field and headed to the team locker room.

Chiefs head coach Todd Haley was tight-lipped about his starting quarterback in his postgame news conference, saying, “All the injured guys are being evaluated and we’ll talk about that at a later date.”

However, Chiefs television analyst Rich Baldinger, who does the sideline reports for home games, said Cassel was grimacing in pain as he walked down the steps to the tunnel that leads to the locker room.

Baldinger called Cassel’s injury a “knee sprain.”

A player, who requested anyonymity, said after the game, “I don’t know how bad Matt is hurt, but everyone is concerned.”

Following a game, the head coach usually addresses the media within a couple of minutes. It took Haley a long time to emerge from the locker room, prompting radio analyst and Chiefs Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson to say, “That’s never a good sign. What could they have been talking about all that time?

The might have been talking about Tyler Thigpen, who did nothing to secure a role on the team this season.

Thigpen was just 8 of 15 for 56 yards and the team converted just one of his 10 third-down attempts while he was running the offense.

“One of 10 just doesn’t get it,” Haley said. “That’s the quarterback’s responsibility – to move the chains.”

When asked about his performance in the 14-10 loss to Seattle, Thigpen said, “We did some good things, we did some bad things – we have to improve.”

Kicker Ryan Soccup missed 53- and 28-yard field goals, and the Seahawks often had good field position after long kickoff returns

“We even had 10 guys on the field one time,” Haley said. “That’s not acceptable.”

The Chiefs offense didn’t score a touchdown as cornerback Brandon Flowers grabbed a tipped Matt Hasselback pass and returned it for the Chiefs’ lone score.

“We have to get  better,” said running back Jamaal Charles, a bright spot for the offense after carrying the ball seven times for 54 yards. “We lost our quarterback and that’s a concern. It was tough for Thigpen and (Matt) Gutierrez (10 of 13 for 113 yards and two interceptions) to come in and get into any rhythm.”

Brodie Croyle appears to have the inside track to the No. 2 spot behind Cassel, but he did not play in the game.

Earlier in the week, the Chiefs were reported to have tried to trade Thigpen to Jacksonville, but the two teams could not agree on a draft pick. If they were trying to highlight him Saturday night, it backfired.

If Cassel is out for any period of time, a season that seemed destined to be mediocre at best could be as woeful as last season’s 2-14 campaign.

“If they lose Cassel,” Dawson said, “it could be a long season.”

And that’s something Chiefs fans have become all too familiar with.

The Examiner