KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Todd Bouman and Patrick Ramsey began the week looking for work as an NFL quarterback. Either one might end it starting for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday when they play against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
That's almost a worse-case scenario for the Jaguars, but for now it isn't particularly pleasant for the Chiefs, either. They're scrambling to find information on Bouman and Ramsey, the journeymen quarterbacks signed by the Jaguars this week.
The Chiefs also have to prepare for the possibility, however slight, that either of Jacksonville's two regular quarterbacks, David Garrard and Trent Edwards, could play. Each was injured in Monday night's loss to Tennessee, Garrard with a concussion and Edwards with an injury to the thumb on his passing hand.
"You've got to prepare for their first two, first and foremost, assume they're both tough guys (because) they don't miss very many games, either one of them,'' Chiefs coach Todd Haley said.
"At least the other two names, you may have some guys from a staff standpoint that may have been around Ramsey and Bouman. If not, we'll have to get together a bunch of tape and the good thing is there is a bunch of tape on those guys. It's just not necessarily in Jacksonville's uniform.
"We'll be prepared and have to be prepared for anybody that plays.''
Neither Garrard, the usual starter, nor Edwards practiced Wednesday. Other than that, Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio was careful not to disclose his plans at quarterback.
"We're working on that,'' he said. "Our two quarterbacks from last week are both on the mend and we've got two guys in today and they'll be taking the snaps (Wednesday) in practice and we'll sort through it as best we can as the week unfolds.
"We'll do the best we can to get ourselves prepared. We understand it's a challenge and definitely not ideal. You do the best you can with what you have and that's what we'll have to do.''
Ramsey and Bouman are veterans. Ramsey has played for Washington, the Jets and the Broncos and started 24 games, but none since 2005. Bouman has six career starts with the Vikings and Saints but hasn't played in an NFL game since 2005.
Even under normal circumstances, the Jaguars rely heavily on their running game. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew is 10th in the league in rushing with 463 yards.
"This doesn't make my job a lot more difficult,'' Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "They've got a nice running back in their backfield. That's where it starts.''
But the Jaguars will need to throw at some point. Their passing game was far from potent even with Garrard at quarterback, so it could be downright ugly on Sunday.
"We have to figure out what we have to do to make our offense explosive this week,'' Jones-Drew said. "We want to be more explosive. We were growing as an offense every week. But we also have a lot of work to do around here. We have a lot of potential we haven't even tapped yet.''
Jones-Drew said the playbook was slimmed last week after Edwards replaced Garrard. Edwards joined the Jaguars early in the season only after he was released by the Bills.
That being the case, they'll have to be even more basic if Bouman or Ramsey plays on Sunday.
"You have to make the assumption that they'll stay within their offense, whoever's in there,'' Chiefs safety Jon McGraw said. "They're still going to try to operate the same way with some minor differences depending on which guy is in there.
"It gives you more to prepare for, trying to be ready for whatever quarterback they give you. I'm sure we'll look at all their quarterbacks and kind of see what they've done, what they do well. At the end of the day, they'll try to do things other teams have had success doing against us.''
It's not unusual for a Chiefs upcoming opponent to have some uncertainty about the identity of their starting quarterback. When the Chiefs prepared to play against Cleveland last month, the Chiefs were thinking they would see Browns backup quarterback Seneca Wallace instead of the injured starter, Jake Delhomme.
"We were about 90 percent sure Seneca was going to be their guy,'' McGraw said.
Either way, the Chiefs were preparing for one or the other. This week, that quarterback preparation pie is carved into four slices and McGraw, asked for odds on which quarterback the Chiefs will see from the Jaguars this week, was stumped.
"There's no way I could do that right now,'' he said.