Former USC Trojan Matt Cassel has struggled in 2012, and his Cinderella run that saw him go from Chattsworth High School’s starting quarterback, to backing up two Heisman winners and Tom Brady in succession before making a Pro Bowl, looks like it’s in jeopardy. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback was hit hard by two Baltimore Ravens, Haloti Ngata and Paul Kruger, forcing Cassel to suffer a concussion and give the fans at Arrowhead Stadium something to cheer for in the form of Brady Quinn.
Cassel’s departure wasn’t without controversy, as the embattled quarterback with just a 66.2 passer rating had long been pegged for benching by Chiefs fans, which saw several fans bring out their inner Arizona State, and cheer on Cassel’s injury.
Chiefs offensive lineman Eric Winston called it ‘sickening’ for fans to cheer, as he went on a rant to the media for over three minutes in an attempt to protect his quarterback.
According to the comments at Arrowhead Addict however, Chiefs fans are arguing that a predominant number of fans were cheering for the first down that was earned on the play, as Cassel found former Texas Longhorn Jamaal Charles for a 16-yard gain just a split-second before his concussion.
Either way, it’s a hard pill to swallow for Cassel, just three years removed from signing a six-year, $62.7 million deal with Kansas City after being traded from the New England Patriots. He’s had both fans and the media alike have their arrow pointed at him, and mentions of a lack of confidence both in himself and from teammates can’t help him get his game back.
With Brady Quinn assuming duties as quarterback with the Chiefs, it’ll be interesting to see if Cassel can find a way back on the gridiron even when he’s healthy. As for now, Cassel’s status remains unknown, as he is forced to go through the NFL’s concussion procedures, which includes a consultation from a third-party neurologist.