Palko, not Orton, gets call in K.C.

Kansas City coach Todd Haley said Tyler Palko will start Sunday at quarterback at Chicago instead of Kyle Orton.

I think the only reason this makes sense is if Orton just doesn’t have the Chiefs’ offense down yet. Orton has said he is ready; he has been with the Chiefs for a week after being claimed off waivers from Denver.

I think if Orton is ready, he needs to play. The Chiefs picked up the remaining $2.5 million on his contract; Orton is a free agent at the end of the year. Orton should be in Kansas City to play, not back up Palko. Palko has thrown six interceptions in two starts playing for Matt Cassel, who is out with a broken hand. Haley said Orton could play against the Bears, but he was far from committal about it.

“We’ve had to prepare Orton to get ready to play and he may have to, but he may not,” Haley told reporters. “We’re really focused on how we want to start this game and we know what we need to do.”

Meanwhile, Kansas City offensive coordinator Bill Muir said Jared Gaither wasn’t as physical or as explosive as he was with the Ravens. The Chiefs cut the offensive lineman – who missed all of last season with a back injury – this week. San Diego claimed him. Gaither could play for the Chargers on Monday night at Jacksonville.

In other AFC West news:

Rolando McClain’s high school does not want him to attend its basketball game Friday night. The Oakland linebacker was arrested this week on assault charges in his hometown of Decatur, Ala. I wonder if the Raiders will feel the same way about their game in Miami on Sunday?