Driving home listening to the radio last night I heard Schlereth talking about yesterdays open media practice and how Quinn and Tebow were the quarterbacks being showcased. If you missed it, the thought was that Orton was being held out to avoid more questions about Tebow and to give the media a chance to see our future at quarterback as it stands now. Schlereth, however, had a different take on the situation and has heard rumors that Kyle Orton has been playing with rib "damage" since the 49ers game....
In that 49ers game, Orton went to the sideline, Tebow started warming up ,but never came in. Same thing happened last game. To be more specific, Schlereth had heard it could be rib cartilage damage or even a detachment of the rib. In either case its safe to say that the injury would be extremely painful and has already sidelined another quarterback this year, Michael Vick. IF Orton indeed does have some form of injury it would help to explain some of the games we've seen lately including San Diego, Kansas City (twice), and Arizona. In each of these games, Orton came out on fire (by the way, has anybody else noticed that we've won almost every single coin toss this year?).
He started last weeks game 5 for 5 then missed 5 in a row after. If he indeed is trying to play though this injury, it might not be affecting him on the first drive, but as soon as he takes his first hit, the train seems to derail.That screen pass to Moreno towards the end of the game last week was a sign to me that something was wrong. He couldn't seem to turn ninety degrees and wound up throwing the ball six feet in front of Knowshon. His accuracy declines as the game goes on and it may not have everything to do with confidence. This man is hurt.
I for one, would be very disappointed (as if I'm not already) in our coaching staff if they were letting Orton play with such an injury. This isn't like the busted finger last year, the man is tough, but the trainers and coaches have to be logical. This weekend in Oakland, Kyle Orton will get hit. He may be in a slump but hes still got trade value, unless he takes a hit that really does knock him out. This seems like cause to start the backup QB, but as Tim Lynch pointed out, that day is being saved for the next home game.