Cassel, a former Pro Bowl quarterback, has struggled mightily the past two seasons, and his troubles this year have been especially glaring. Cassel was only completing 58.5 percent of his passes and had thrown five touchdowns and a league-leading nine interceptions.
His quarterback rating of 66.2 is the lowest since he became a starter in New England.
That's part of the reason some intrepid fans raised enough money to hire a plane to tow a banner before Sunday's game pleading for Cassel to be benched, and why a segment of the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium cheered when he got hurt.
Welker: Just kidding
New England Patriots receiver Wes Welker said on Monday that he was only joking when he said that he enjoyed catching 13 passes against the Denver Broncos to "stick it" in coach Bill Belichick's face.
"It was a joke. I don't know what else to say about it," Welker said during a rare Monday appearance in the locker room during media availability. "Bill and I, whether y'all believe it or not, have a good relationship, and it was a joke and I'll make sure to keep that in-house going forward."
Welker caught more passes over the past five seasons than any other player in the NFL, leading the team to use the franchise tag on him in the offseason. He accepted the $9.5 million contract that came with it rather than agree to a long-term deal that would have been more salary cap-friendly for the team.
Welker started the season opener but was targeted only five times, with three catches for 14 yards. He did not start the next game, giving way to longtime backup Julian Edelman and prompting speculation that Belichick was punishing him for the unsuccessful negotiations.
But since the opener, Welker has averaged just under nine catches and 118 yards receiving per game. On Sunday, he had 13 receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown.
"Yeah, it's kind of nice to stick it in Bill's face once in a while," he said with a wink of his right eye in an interview with Comcast SportsNet.
Around the league
Redskins • Coach Mike Shanahan said quarterback Robert Griffin III will probably be able to play Sunday against Minnesota. Griffin, who suffered a concussion in a loss to Atlanta, still has to complete the league's mandated return-to-play protocol before he's cleared for practice.
Titans • Coach Mike Munchak says quarterback Jake Locker will miss his second straight game with an injured left shoulder Thursday night when the Titans play Pittsburgh. Matt Hasselbeck will get his second straight start.
Browns • Cornerback Joe Haden, joining the team after a four-game suspension, acknowledged he tested positive for the stimulant Adderall, and apologized to Cleveland's fans, his teammates and coaches "for my very dumb mistake."
Cowboys • Dallas added running back Lance Dunbar, an undrafted rookie from North Texas, to its 53-man roster from the practice squad.