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Chiefs try to integrate QB Orton for late-season push

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Todd Haley admits he was surprised that Kyle Orton's name popped up on the waiver wire.

The fact it happened just after the Kansas City Chiefs lost starting quarterback Matt Cassel to a season-ending injury to his throwing hand made it almost serendipitous.

Orton finally joined the Chiefs on Friday, two days after he was claimed off waivers from the Denver Broncos. He'll have the chance to compete for the starting job for the rest of the year, though it's unlikely he'll be up to speed in time for Sunday night's game against Pittsburgh.

"We have to get Kyle assimilated into how we're doing things," Haley said, "and then make decisions as we get closer to the game, and then obviously next week."

Haley wouldn't rule out Orton being active against the Steelers, at least in a third quarterback role, assuming he learns enough of the playbook in just 48 hours. But the coach said Tyler Palko will make his second career start and fifth-round draft pick Ricky Stanzi will remain the No. 2.

Palko threw for 230 yards and did a reasonable job of moving the Chiefs in a 34-3 loss to New England last Monday night, but he also threw three interceptions that foiled promising drives.

"I have great confidence in Tyler. I really believe that he will continue to get better and give us a chance to win a big game this week," Haley said. "We had confidence in Tyler. That's why we began the season the way we did. Had a number of opportunities to add people and we didn't."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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