The Chiefs are in need of a veteran signal-caller after placing starter Matt Cassel on injured reserve earlier this week. Cassel broke his right hand in Week 10 against the Broncos, who won that game with Tim Tebow under center.
Tebow's ascent in Denver led to the unsuspected release of Orton, who has started 33 games for the Broncos the last three seasons. In his first five games this year, Orton completed 91-of-155 passes for 979 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions, but the club went just 1-4.
But the Chiefs, according to the NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, have claimed Orton after throwing Tyler Palko to the wolves on Monday. Palko, in his first career start, threw for 230 yards against the Patriots but was intercepted three times in a 34-3 loss.
Palko will likely start Sunday's home tilt against the Steelers.
Kansas City sits at 4-6 on the season but only trails the division-leading Raiders by two games.