Chiefs Sign Kyle Orton
November 24, 2011 by staff
The Chiefs brought in some competition for Palko on Wednesday when they claimed Kyle Orton, a veteran quarterback with extensive starting experience, off waivers from Denver. Orton, 29, began the season as Denver’s starter but was benched last month in favor of Tim Tebow.
The Broncos released Orton on Tuesday.
Orton will report to the Chiefs and will be at practice today if he is able to get to Kansas City on time and pass his physical.
Chiefs coach Todd Haley held his usual daily news conference before the waiver process had finished and wasn’t available for comment afterward.
The addition of Orton would seem to indicate the Chiefs are uncomfortable with Palko as their starting quarterback for the season’s final six games. Palko inherited the starter’s job last week after the Chiefs lost Matt Cassel for the season because of a hand injury.
Palko completed 24 of 37 passes for 230 yards in his debut Monday night against the Patriots. But he also threw three interceptions as the Chiefs lost 34-3.
Still, early indications were that Palko would be the starter Sunday night against Pittsburgh at Arrowhead Stadium. Even if he practices today, Orton would have only two days on the field to prepare for the game with his new team.
Palko said Haley didn’t tell him the Chiefs would make a change at quarterback for the Pittsburgh game.
“He didn’t tell me either way,” Palko said. “He just said we’re going full speed ahead for Pittsburgh. I was in the huddle today calling plays, and we have a really good plan. I’m fired up about it.”
Palko also indicated Orton’s presence wouldn’t distract from his preparation.
“This game is not for the faint of heart,” Palko said. “You can’t be sensitive. You can’t worry about things you can’t control. This is a bottom-line business. It’s about wins.”
The Chiefs released veteran wide receiver Keary Colbert to clear roster room for Orton.
After Pittsburgh, the Chiefs play on Dec. 4 against the Bears in Chicago, and the Chiefs may try to have Orton ready to play then. Orton, in his seventh NFL season, began his career with the Bears and played four years and started 33 games for them before being traded in 2009 to the Broncos in the deal that sent Jay Cutler to Chicago.
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