RIVER FALLS, WIS. The Kansas City Chiefs, riddled by nagging injuries in the offensive backfield, agreed to terms of a two-year contract with former Michigan State quarterback Jeff Smoker.
Terms of the deal, announced Thursday, were not disclosed.
The Chiefs suddenly found themselves in the market for a backup quarterback for Saturday's exhibition opener against the Houston Texans after Damon Huard sprained a foot earlier this week.
Third-round draft pick Brodie Croyle has been practicing only in running drills while he works his way back from a shoulder injury, which would have left only starter Trent Green and Canadian Football League star Casey Printers available to take snaps.
Smoker spent the past two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and the St. Louis Rams, who chose him in the sixth round of the 2004 NFL draft. He was on the Rams' active roster for all 16 games in 2004, but has never appeared in a game.
He was cut before the start of the Rams' training camp this season.
At Michigan State, Smoker set career passing records with 685 completions on 1,150 attempts for 8,932 yards and 61 touchdowns.
The Chiefs' predicament is similar to last season, when Green, Huard and backup quarterback Todd Collins were out with injuries. The Chiefs called on journeyman Jonathan Quinn, who was out of football and living in the Kansas City area.
Quinn played the majority of two exhibition games, but was released before the start of the regular season.