Bum leg benches Brady for season

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Tom Brady will miss the entire NFL season with a left knee injury that will require surgery, leaving the New England Patriots without one of the game’s great quarterbacks, and their Super Bowl hopes severely damaged.

The 2007 NFL Most Valuable Player will be placed on injured reserve, the Patriots said Monday, one day after his knee was injured in the first quarter of a 17-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

A statement issued before coach Bill Belichick’s news conference said Brady will have surgery, ending his 128-game starting streak, the third-longest for a quarterback.

Brady left Sunday’s game against Kansas City after he was hit by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard. Brady was not available for comment, but reports circulated around the league that he had torn his anterior cruciate ligament.

“We feel badly for Tom about the injury,” Belichick said while not confirming the exact injury. “You hate to see anyone go down. No one has worked harder or done more for this team than Tom has.”

Matt Cassel, who guided New England to its 20th straight regular-season win after Brady was hurt, will start Sunday against the New York Jets.

“As a team we all just have to do our jobs,” Belichick said. “That really doesn’t change.”

Cassel, who was a backup at Southern California – to Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart – could have some competition. A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that former Tampa Bay quarterback Chris Simms was heading to Foxborough on Monday for a physical, and reports elsewhere said Tim Rattay was also being considered.

Belichick denied the team reached out to any other quarterbacks.

“In spite of what some people are putting out there, we haven’t worked out anybody,” he said. “We had a lot of people call us, I can tell you that.”

For now, Cassel is his quarterback.