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Arrowhead Report: Cassel Questionable for Sunday

Posted Dec 17, 2010

Chiefs will continue to evaluate Cassel as Sunday approaches

Chiefs QB Matt Cassel completed his third consecutive practice Friday afternoon, though his participation continued to be in a limited capacity as he recovers from an emergency appendectomy procedure performed nine days ago.

On Wednesday, both Cassel and head coach Todd Haley described the quarterback’s condition as “day-to-day” and that continues to be the case as the Chiefs prepare to travel to St. Louis on Saturday. The Chiefs have officially ruled Cassel “questionable” for this weekend’s Governor’s Cup and Haley indicated that the team’s medical staff will continue to evaluate Cassel through the weekend.

“We’re taking him totally day-by-day and it’s probably going to go right up to the wire of exactly what we’re able to do with Matt,” Haley said.

Haley said that he and Cassel will rely heavily upon the opinion of the team’s medical staff as gameday approaches. If doctors advise against Cassel making a return, the team would follow that recommendation.

“Without getting into details, (evaluation) has been ongoing because this isn’t your run-of-the-mill injury that a lot of us have a lot of experience with so we do have to lean to the doctors a bunch in making sure that the right thing’s being done,” Haley said.

There may not be a definitive answer on Cassel’s status until 10:30 AM Sunday morning.

Chiefs Injury Report

QUESTIONABLE: QB Matt Cassel (illness)

Rams Injury Report

OUT: TE Mike Hoomanawanui (ankle)

QUESTIONABLE: LB David Nixon (hand); RB Ken Darby (chest)

PROBABLE: CB Ron Bartel (neck); P Donnie Jones (illness); G Jacob Bell (knee)

Closing the Lanes

Cassel or no Cassel, the Chiefs know that they must find an answer for the Rams rushing attack in order to leave St. Louis with a win. Pro Bowl RB Steven Jackson will be lining up against a Kansas City defense that has allowed 368 rushing yards over its past two games.

“We have to understand that if a team will commit to the run than we also have to commit to stopping it with our technique by staying lower at the line of scrimmage, being more physical at the line of scrimmage to give ourselves a chance,” defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said. “If we don’t do that then generally it turns out that we won’t have a chance because it opens up some other stuff also.”

The Chiefs have allowed just one 100-yard rusher this season (Denver’s Knowshon Moreno, twice), but have also surrendered an average of 140.7 rushing yards in the club’s five losses. In the Chiefs eight wins, opponents are rushing for an average of just 90.0 yards per game.

A number of missed tackles led to San Diego’s 207-yard outing last Sunday; a season-high against the Chiefs. To combat the amount of missed tackles, Crennel instructed his players not to “jump off the diving board” throughout practices this week.

“Sometimes when you talk about tackling and you see guys trying to tackle, when you go off the diving board you leave your feet and you are just out there, you don’t have a chance to adjust or adapt and generally you miss the tackle,” Crennel explained. “So we have been talking about not having any diving board tackles because if you go off the diving board generally you miss.”

“Get-Back” Coach

In the wake of last weekend’s sideline incident involving the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, the NFL Office sent a reminder to all 32 clubs of the rules involving bench area restrictions and movement on sidelines.

The letter came from executive vice president for football operations Ray Anderson and, at the top of the reminder, included each club’s responsibility for designating an official “get-back” coach.

These coaches are placed to insure that each sideline is in compliance with league rules. For the Chiefs, appointing a “get-back” coach wasn’t an issue. The team has had two members of the coaching staff perform those duties for quite some time.

“Coach (Mike) Clark and Coach (Brent) Salazar are always on it,” Haley said. “I take great pride in our sideline. They get mad at me, Brent and Mike, because I don’t let them watch the game much and I keep after them because that’s always a chore – keeping everybody back – but as the head coach I take great pride in our sideline.”

Clark is in his first season serving as the team’s strength and conditioning coach. Salazar works as Clark’s assistant.

Pre-Game in St. Louis

Looking for a place to tailgate with Chiefs fans on Sunday morning in St. Louis? Tigin Irish Pub and Restaurant has KC fans covered.

Beginning at 9:00 AM, Tigin will open its doors for Chiefs fans to tailgate with Kansas City microbrews on tap. Located at 333 Washington Avenue, the pub is situated very close to the Edward Jones Dome and will remain open throughout the game.

If you’re one of the thousands of Chiefs fans planning to make the trip to St. Louis this weekend, keep in mind the following construction schedule for Interstate 70 as you map your journey.

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