Cliff Notes: Croyle Injured, Out For Season

Sunday's game against the Titans started well for Brodie Croyle. Though the Chiefs' running game never got off the ground against Tennessee's vaunted front four, and he wasn't given the opportunity to throw down field much, Croyle did exactly what was asked of him and executed the offense to perfection in the first quarter.

Then, as the second quarter began, Croyle dropped back, stood his ground with two Titans defenders bearing down, and fired a bullet through coverage into the hands of Dwayne Bowe for a 17-yard gain. On that play Croyle took the powerful arm that's had scouts drooling over him since high school and combined it with the accuracy the Chiefs have been missing since his Week 1 injury, resulting in a big gain.

But the worst possible outcome, the outcome in the back of every onlooker's mind each time Croyle took a hit Sunday, the outcome that would kill any hope the Chiefs had for respectability in 2008 actually happened - Croyle came up limping and was whisked to the locker room for further evaluation.

The initial report in the press box was a sprained knee with a questionable return. Some media members joked about Croyle being hurt again, but during halftime, when the reports started rolling in that Croyle was done for the season, there were no jokes, no laughter, just dropped jaws.

The frozen rope thrown to Dwayne Bowe would be Croyle's last of the season. He ended the day completing nine of 10 passes for 63 yards, and coach Herm Edwards said he believed the injury was a torn MCL. This tear may not only signal the end of Croyle's season, but also his run as the main man in Kansas City.

Croyle was drafted three years ago with all the tools in the quarterback toolbox, but the main knock on him was durability. Croyle tore an ACL his senior year of high school, then tore the other in college. He also suffered a separated shoulder and cracked ribs while at Alabama.

As a Chief, he's now been knocked out of a game four times due to injury, and has sat out the last five weeks with another separated shoulder. Call him injury prone, snake bitten or unlucky, but Brodie Croyle cannot stay healthy.

Now, the Chiefs are left with two less than stellar quarterbacks, and Croyle is left contemplating his future. Sunday was a sad day by all accounts.

"Yeah, he's been hurt. There's no doubt about that," said Edwards. "This is the worst one he's had since he's been here. Other ones he's missed a week or two but this is a tough one now, tough for him, tough for the football team. I thought he did some good things halfway decent at the beginning of the game. But when you have an injury like that, that's tough. I feel bad for the kid because he did everything in his power to come back. He had a good week of practice and now his season is over."

Damon Huard, who spelled Croyle after the injury, also showed compassion for what Croyle is going through.

"It's just the kind of season we're having," he said. "Unfortunately for Brodie, it's a tough, tough injury. I really feel bad for the guy and that's really the toughest thing for me walking away from today. He's a kid who put a lot of time and energy into this season. My heart is out to him."

"He was our guy. He went down in the first game and then goes down in his first game back," said running back Kolby Smith. "Sometimes it just works that way, so we've just got to come together. I'm sure it's very frustrating for him. You work so hard to come back and then you go down like that, I really can't imagine how he's feeling."

Croyle's history of philanthropy is as well documented as his medical history. He grew up on a ranch that helped underprivileged and mistreated youths, he's volunteered at Drumm Farm in Independence, MO and he's hosted a turkey shoot to raise money for charities. So whether you thought he was the Chiefs franchise quarterback of the future or not, you have to feel for Croyle.

He's a humble, giving young man who doesn't seem to take much for granted, and poured his life into a game he loves, just to have his body let him down time and time again.

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