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Archive for Friday, April 21, 2006

Chiefs counting on Holmes’ return

Injured running back still hasn’t been cleared for contact

April 21, 2006

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— With an NFL draft full of tantalizing young players looming, Kansas City Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson turned his attention Thursday to a veteran.

Peterson said he was counting Priest Holmes "in" for next season, as the three-time Pro Bowl running back continues to recover from midseason surgery for head and neck trauma.

"If we had to start today, right now, the doctor would not clear him for contact," Peterson said. "But we don't have to start today."

Holmes, who was injured in a hit last October by the San Diego Chargers' Shawne Merriman, is continuing to work out at his home in Texas, just as he has the past three off-seasons. Peterson said doctors will evaluate him again soon, and new coach Herman Edwards said he hoped Holmes would be able to return.

Although they have more pressing needs at cornerback and defensive end, Holmes' status may not preclude the Chiefs from drafting a running back in a later round if the timing is right.

In 2003, the Chiefs took Larry Johnson in the first round, despite Holmes being seemingly entrenched at running back. Three years later, the Penn State product emerged as one of the NFL's brightest young standouts.

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