FOXBORO -- In 2008, Tom Brady suffered a season-ending injury after taking a hit to the knee against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Matt Cassel replaced Brady, and went on to win 11 games with the Patriots. He was rewarded with a six-year, 63 million contract with the Chiefs.
Three years later, Cassel finds himself on the sideline with a hand injury, watching his backup QB, Tyler Palko, replace him during Kansas City's Monday Night Football game in New England.
Like Cassel, Palko may have a chance to write his own script, after waiting five full seasons for his first NFL start, which comes against the Patriots on Monday.
But the new Chiefs quarterback isn't yet thinking about that potential Hollywood script.
"You can't write the story before it's written," said Palko in a conference call on Wednesday. "There's obviously comparisons and all that other stuff, but that's not going to win the game because it's aligning this way or it's not aligning this way. Right now, my job is to go out and give our team a chance to win. And I don't have enough time to think about all that stuff."
This is Palko's sixth year in the NFL. He said it hasn't been easy, waiting for his first start.
"What is it, my fifth year?" asked Palko, as he seemed to be thinking out loud. "I guess it's been a long time coming, but I guess when you're entrenched in it, you really don't think about how long it is. You set a goal, and my goal was to be a starter in the NFL, and I'm getting my opportunity right now."
Now, he'll face a Patriots defense, in their building, on a Monday night. And perhaps he'll have some advantage with the fact that there's not much game film of him, and also with the fact that his current defensive coordinator -- Romeo Crennel -- was once the defensive coordinator for the three-time Super Bowl champion Patriots.
But Palko, being as honest as he could be while entering his first career NFL start, said that his advantages are non-existent.
"I don't think there's really any advantage for me, going into this thing," said Palko. "I've got enough chips stacked against me."