Matt Cassel hopes to play Sunday

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel told reporters Monday that he is hoping and planning to play Sunday at St. Louis, but he knows it is not certain. Cassel said he is day-to-day after having an appendectomy last Wednesday. He was replaced by Brodie Croyle at San Diego in a 31-0 loss.

Croyle and the rest of the Chiefs were awful in the game. The Chiefs had just 67 yards of total offense and were 0-for-11 on third down. The 8-5 Chiefs have a one-game lead over the 7-6 Chargers. It is crucial that Cassel plays at St. Louis, even though it’s far from a sure thing. If Cassel practices, even on a limited basis Wednesday, it could be a good sign he will be able to play.

The Chargers began practice Monday in a short week before Thursday night’s home game against San Francisco. Tight end Antonio Gates did not practice. He has missed three of the past five games because of a nagging foot injury. He said Sunday he hopes to play Thursday. Left tackle Marcus McNeill was limited Monday with a knee injury. Guard Louis Vasquez returned to practice fully after missing the past three games with a neck injury.

The Chargers were given an extension until 5:20 p.m. Tuesday -- 48 hours before kickoff -- to sell about 2,000 remaining seats for Thursday’s game to avoid a local television blackout. It is the Chargers’ home season finale.

Oakland coach Tom Cable refuted a Yahoo report that said he and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is at odds. We may see in a few weeks if there are truly any issues between these men. By the way, Oakland owner Al Davis is a big fan of Jackson.

Arizona kicker Jay Feely made history against the Broncos on Sunday.

As expected, the Chargers’ game at the Bengals on Dec. 26 has been moved out of the prime-time slot because the Bengals are 2-11.

Denver signed receiver Britt Davis. Safety Kyle McCarthy was put on the injured reserve.