Chiefs QB Croyle out for this week

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Brodie Croyle has a separated shoulder and Damon Huard will start at quarterback this week against Oakland.

"He's not done for the year," Chiefs coach Herman Edwards said Monday. "It's week to week.

"They're still looking at it and they're going to send it off to some other (medical experts), but that's what it looks like."

Croyle was injured when thrown to the ground in the third quarter of New England's 17-10 victory Sunday, a nightmare game for quarterbacks. The Patriots' Tom Brady, last season's league MVP, will undergo season-ending knee surgery because of a hit by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard in the first quarter. The league on Monday said the hit was clean.

Croyle was hurt when he was sacked and slammed to the turf on his shoulder. He tried to throw on the sideline, but immediately indicated he was through for the day.

Huard came in and had the Chiefs on the Patriots 5-yard line when they ran out of downs.

This leaves the Chiefs with only two quarterbacks, Huard and Tyler Thigpen. They will probably be in the market for a third quarterback until Croyle returns.

"We might bring in a few. We're kind of huddling up. We haven't really talked about names or anything like that," Edwards said.

Huard, 35, has come to the rescue of injured Chiefs quarterbacks more than once. The 12-year veteran is less mobile than Croyle and probably won't be asked to execute as many bootlegs and rollouts in Kansas City's new offense.

"I can do some of that. We'll see. Every week I think our game plan's going to be a little different," Huard said. "That's what's different about this year. I think we're going to have a new plan of attack every week. Whether it's me or Brodie or Tyler, I think we'll be able to execute it just fine."

With Huard at the controls, the Chiefs came up just short of what would have been a monumental upset. Huard completed a 68-yard pass to Devard Darling, who was tackled at the Patriots 5 with 53 seconds left. But four straight tries to get into the end zone failed, and the heavily favored Patriots escaped.

"It was so close. And so frustrating there at the end that we couldn't punch it in," Huard said. "Man, we'll learn from it. We'll grow from it and hopefully build on it."

Huard also came on in 2006 when Trent Green was injured in the season opener. He more than held his own, going 5-3 in eight starts, throwing for 11 touchdowns and only one interception.

He beat out Croyle in training camp in 2007, got hurt and was replaced by Croyle, and wound up making 10 starts altogether after Croyle was injured.

He said he had talked with Croyle on Monday.

"I don't know what's going on as of this week," Huard said. "Brodie is mentally very strong and very tough. I know he's disappointed, but he'll battle through this. He's always come back. He's a fast healer. He's a real tough kid. He grew up in a tough place and I think he'll be fine."

Nevertheless, Croyle's tendency to get hurt is growing more worrisome to the rebuilding Chiefs. If he's out for any length of time, it could be a devastating setback long-term.

"It hurts," Edwards said. "Quarterback is a vital position in this league. That's the key position offensively. You've got to have a trigger guy.

"We have a guy that has some potential. Then an injury hits. That's always tough. It's a setback. It's a setback for him and it's a setback for the team, too."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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