Thursday, December 9, 2010; D04
Quarterback Matt Cassel, a key reason the Kansas City Chiefs have emerged as contenders and lead the AFC West late in the season, underwent an appendectomy on Wednesday.
The Chiefs said the procedure was a success and they expected Cassel to return to work this week. They did not say he would be ready to play on Sunday when the Chiefs (8-4) travel to San Diego for a showdown with the Chargers, who trail Kansas City by two games in the division.
Taking most of the practice snaps on Wednesday was Brodie Croyle, who is 0-9 as an NFL starter and has not appeared in a game all year. The Chiefs also signed quarterback Tyler Palko to the 53-man roster from the practice squad.
Coach Todd Haley declined to speculate on whether Cassel will be ready for Sunday's game.
l VIKINGS: The NFL has wrapped up its investigation into allegations that Brett Favre sent inappropriate phone messages and photos to a Jets game hostess two years ago, the woman's attorney said.
Attorney Joseph Conway said Joe Hummel, the director of investigative services for the NFL's security department, told him the case has been sent to Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league's lawyers for review.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello declined to discuss details of the case and said "we're not ruling out this week. We're not ruling out next week" in terms of a decision.
Also Wednesday, Favre said he is still unsure if his injured throwing shoulder will allow him to play on Sunday against the Giants. He said he hoped to make a decision by Friday.
l STEELERS: Ben Roethlisberger is walking around with a large bandage on his broken nose and a protective boot on his painfully injured right foot. He needs a protective shield to protect a nose that so splintered when he was smacked by the Ravens' Haloti Ngata, a doctor told him that the cartilage looked like corn flakes.
But he said Wednesday he has no plans to miss Sunday's AFC North game against Cincinnati.
l PANTHERS: As Carolina owner Jerry Richardson ended his silence by apologizing for the team's ugly season, perhaps the best example of the disconnect with his coach came as John Fox was asked about that letter sent to permanent seat license holders.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Fox said.
After being denied a contract extension the past two offseasons, Fox is in the last year of his deal and not expected to return in 2011.
l CARDINALS: Arizona Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he will decide "later in the week" who would start at quarterback for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.
Rookie John Skelton and the newly signed Richard Bartel took reps with the first unit in Wednesday's practice. They were the team's only healthy quarterbacks. Starter Derek Anderson hasn't been cleared to play because of a concussion from last Sunday's 19-6 loss to St. Louis. His backup, rookie Max Hall, went down with a season-ending shoulder injury in that game.
l COLTS: Safety Bob Sanders will not play again this season after being placed on injured reserve. Sanders tore the biceps in his right arm during the first quarter of the season opener.
Running backs Joseph Addai and Mike Hart, wide receiver Austin Collie, cornerback Kelvin Hayden and linebacker Clint Session will not play Thursday night at Tennessee.
l LIONS: Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh has been fined $15,000 by the NFL after drawing an unnecessary roughness penalty for a hit on Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler last weekend. Suh said he plans to appeal.
l BROWNS: Rookie quarterback Colt McCoy still isn't ready to practice because of an ankle injury that will likely keep him out for a third straight game.
l DOLPHINS: Cornerback Al Harris, a Pro Bowler in 2008, has been placed on injured reserve because of a hamstring injury, ending his 13th NFL season. . . .
Quarterback Chad Pennington is scheduled for shoulder surgery Friday, and he says it's 50-50 whether he'll retire. It will be the fourth on his right shoulder. Pennington said he's confident he can fully recover from another operation and play again, but he's unsure whether he should try at age 34 and probably won't decide for several months.