Coach Herm Edwards said before the game that second-year player Tyler Thigpen was going to see action in the game, no matter what.
After Damon Huard had a shaky start to the game with an interception, he was taken out for Thigpen, even though he had only played two drives. Strangely, the Chiefs announced that Huard had left the game with head trauma two quarters later.
Thigpen went on to get zero first downs in his first three drives. In fact, he led the offense to only three first downs on his first six drives.
Towards the end of the game, Thigpen did make his stats somewhat tolerable, as he drove the Chiefs down the field and found Tony Gonzales for a meaningless touchdown.
He finished the game 14-for-33 for 151 yards with one touchdown and one interception (a quarterback rating of 54.0). With some of the horrid passes that he had thrown, Thigpen was lucky to come out of the game with only one interception.
However, Thigpen wasn’t the only quarterback that played instead of Huard. The Chiefs were so desperate for offense that wide receivers Marques Hagans, a former quarterback at Virginia, also played a series at quarterback for the Chiefs, gaining zero first downs.
I find it very strange that Huard was reported to have left the game with head trauma, two quarters after it happened. After a player is injured, it is generally reported right away. Ironically, the announcement was made around the same time Thigpen had hit rock bottom after only having led the offense to three first downs in the game.
Although Thigpen knew he would play, he was surprised he played the entire game. A puzzled Thigpen walked up to Huard on the sideline and asked him why he hadn’t returned.
Thigpen said Monday, “He was like, ‘I ended up hurting my neck,’ or whatever it was. I don’t know what’s going on with Damon.”
The Chiefs said, after the game, that Huard suffered a head injury. Edwards said, “Huard was lifted because of dizzy spells.” However, Huard said his neck had been hurt.
Huard stuck with the neck-injury story when reporters questioned him on Monday. But when questioned about his head injury, he suggested that he might have suffered a concussion. However, he hadn’t been treated for a concussion on Monday.
None of the players, media, or fans know what was really wrong with Damon’s mysterious injury.
The one apparent thing was that Huard never said he couldn’t have gone back in the game. Regardless if Huard’s neck was bothering him, if Huard could still play, he shouldn’t have been taken out for the rest of the game.
From reading into this peculiar situation, I’m guessing that Edwards realized that putting Thigpen in the game backfired and used Huard’s apparent “neck/head injury” as an excuse for why he didn’t play the rest of the game.
Huard, the professional that he is, didn’t want to contradict the team and did his best to agree with what the Chiefs had reported.
Edwards basically threw a very winnable game away because he wanted to try Thigpen out as quarterback.
Even after Thigpen’s amateur performance, reports say that Thigpen is going to start this week at Atlanta. The Chiefs have basically given up on the season and guaranteed themselves the No.1 pick in the draft next year.
Since obviously Edwards doesn’t like playing Huard, he should have gone out and signed a veteran like Chris Simms.
I understand that the Chiefs are rebuilding and want to develop their younger players, but it’s unfair to the veterans like Tony Gonzales to put an incompetent player in the most important position.
If I were Tony Gonzales or Larry Johnson, I would refuse to go out on the field with Thigpen playing quarterback.
However, the people I feel the most sorry for are the fans. This past Sunday was an absolute disgrace and embarrassment to the city.
The fans have become so disgusted and disappointed that the Chiefs will be lucky to have half of Arrowhead Stadium filled for their next home game. After this year, maybe the Royals won’t be the worst sports team in Kansas City after all.
Reports out of Oakland before the game Sunday said that Lane Kiffin was close to being fired. However, if any coach in that game should be fired, it should be Herman Edwards.