Haley: Orton will have chance to win Chiefs' starting QB job

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Recently acquired quarterback Kyle Orton will be given plenty of opportunities to win the Chiefs' starting job this week.

Chiefs coach Todd Haley said Monday that Tyler Palko remains the starter, but Orton will receive plenty of repetitions with the first-team offense this week.

"Tyler's the starter," Haley said, "but as we do every week and with every position, if we feel Kyle or Ricky (Stanzi) gives us a chance to win, we'll make that determination."

The Chiefs have been scrambling to find a replacement for Matt Cassel, who joined Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry and All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles on season-ending injured reserve after hurting his throwing hand late in a Nov. 13 loss to the Denver Broncos. The Chiefs chose not to bring in an experienced backup during training camp, electing to stick with Palko and Stanzi, their fifth-round draft pick. Palko was given the reins of the offense last week at New England and threw three interceptions in a 34-3 loss.

Orton was claimed off waivers from the Denver Broncos last week, but he didn't arrive in Kansas City until Friday. That meant he had only one practice before Sunday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, when he was among the Chiefs' inactives.

Palko threw three interceptions and fumbled a snap during Kansas City's 13-9 loss, his second start in place of the injured Matt Cassel. Orton was in the locker room after the game and said he hopes to learn the playbook in time to play Sunday at Chicago.

Haley refused to say if Orton could have learned enough of the Chiefs' offense to be available to run the two-minute drill, but he did say the former Broncos and Bears starter will be able to get up to speed in time to compete for the starting job this week.

"I don't think that's an issue, really. When you talk about Kyle, you talk about a really bright football guy," Haley said. "That won't be an issue. More along the lines of who can run the offense most efficiently given how we're built."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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