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Patriots Notebook

Chiefs prepare without Cassel

By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / November 15, 2011

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FOXBOROUGH - On Sunday, the Chiefs lost to the Broncos, whose quarterback completed just 2 of 8 passes. The week before, the Chiefs watched Miami get its first win of the season on their home field.

But just when it seemed Kansas City had reached the low point of its season, things got worse.

Yesterday, coach Todd Haley announced that quarterback Matt Cassel suffered a “significant’’ injury to his right hand against the Broncos and will be out indefinitely - possibly for the rest of the year.

That means the former Patriot, who performed admirably when Tom Brady went down with torn knee ligaments just minutes into the 2008 season, won’t be returning to Gillette Stadium for Monday night’s prime-time matchup.

Haley said the injury to Cassel’s throwing hand will require surgery, but he was not ready to say that the quarterback will be placed on injured reserve.

The injury occurred late in the game, when Cassel was taken down by the Broncos’ Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller. Cassel’s hand was placed in a cast after the game.

Tyler Palko will make his first career start Monday. Palko was 5 of 6 on the Chiefs’ final drive against the Broncos, leading the team to a field goal.

“He’s got a great understanding of how our offense works and what his role within it is,’’ Haley said on the team’s website. “That showed [Sunday] just in the little opportunity he got. He did a good job of stepping in and understanding what had to be done and executing.’’

Palko has been in the league since 2007 but has appeared in just four games. He is 9 of 13 for 82 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. This is his second season with Kansas City.

No McCourty update

Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty left Sunday night’s 37-16 win over the Jets in the second quarter with a separated right shoulder.

Asked yesterday if there was any update on the second-year player, coach Bill Belichick said, “No, not yet.’’

McCourty was injured when he was hit by teammate Sterling Moore while both players converged on Jets receiver Plaxico Burress.

Brady ‘feeling good’

Brady’s throws have seemed a little off in recent weeks, leading to speculation that his arm is hurting.

But during his weekly contractually obligated appearance on WEEI yesterday, Brady denied having any ailments.

“No, I’m feeling good,’’ he said. “It’s football season. One week you feel good, the next week you’re a little banged up. But I’m feeling good.’’

Brady has not been on the injury report this season.

As for the win over the Jets, the quarterback said, “We got off the field and just to walk into the locker room and celebrate with the guys, really after a tough couple of weeks for us, even after battling a very good team under some tough conditions, with their home stadium . . . It was pretty sweet.’’

He had it covered

With the Patriots thin at defensive back late in Sunday’s game, Julian Edelman took some snaps at the position. The surprise move brought back memories of Troy Brown circa 2004, but it also was a reminder that in New England, some players have to learn more than one job to stick around.

“You only have so much depth on your roster,’’ Belichick said, indicating that Edelman has practiced at corner throughout this season. “You have to be able to use people where you use them. We use guys on offense playing defense, guys on defense playing offense, and so forth.’’

Belichick said Edelman knew enough to do his job on that side of the ball, and with the Patriots holding a comfortable lead, there were only a few plays being called anyway.

Active but inactive

Linebacker Gary Guyton was in uniform, but he never stepped onto the field, not even on special teams. Tracy White and rookie Jeff Tarpinian received snaps at linebacker. Guyton was questionable for the game with a shoulder injury suffered against the Giants Nov. 6, but Belichick said he could have played. “Anybody that was active for the game was able to play,’’ said Belichick . . . Belichick was asked about a New York Post report that he made a vulgar remark about the Jets defense while walking off the field with his son after the game. “I don’t remember it that way,’’ Belichick said.

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