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Archive for Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Holmes to practice Wednesday

October 16, 2007

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— Running back Priest Holmes, who hasn't played or practiced since October 2006, will begin practicing on Wednesday. Kansas City coach Herm Edwards did not rule out the possibility that he might play this week against Oakland.

The former Pro Bowler has been on the ineligible list and not able to practice since he unexpectedly reported to training camp in July.

Asked when Holmes, 34, might appear in a game, Edwards said, "We'll see."

The Chiefs coach said he did not know if there was a possibility the Chiefs (3-3) would activate their former team rushing champion in time for Sunday's game.

"I'd like to see him practice first. I'll be able to answer that Wednesday after practice or Thursday," Edwards said.

Holmes, who scored a then-NFL record 27 touchdowns in 2003, sustained neck and spinal injuries in a game at San Diego on Oct. 30, 2005, when he was hit by Shawne Merriman. He was placed on the physically unable to perform list and stayed there until he showed up at training camp in River Falls, Wis. According to NFL rules, he becomes eligible to practice this week.

The three-time Pro Bowler, who scored a then-NFL record 27 touchdowns in 2003, has been working out at the Chiefs facility and looks fit.

After signing as a free agent in 2001, he set the Chiefs career rushing record with 5,933 yards.

His 2005 injury gave Larry Johnson his chance to start, and the disgruntled former first-round pick charged into stardom, rushing for more than 1,750 each of the past two seasons and being named to the Pro Bowl.

Edwards said he'd been in almost daily contact with Holmes.

"We talk about where he's at, how he's doing, what we're thinking. We've communicated. He knows what I expect and I know where he's at right now. When I talked to him last week, he wanted to know if this (current week) was the week. I said, 'Is it?' He said, 'Yeah.' So I said, 'Let's go."'

Edwards agreed that Holmes, who played at 213 pounds, seemed fit.

"He feels very good. I haven't seen him practice, so we'll see. You've got to find a way to get him in the game. But we haven't seen him practice yet. You'll get a sense of that from how he does in practice. That's all you can go by. You get a feel for when it's time to get him in a game."

Johnson, in the meantime, is having a rough season after sitting out almost the entire training camp and then signing a six-year, $45 million deal that makes him the highest-paid player in team history.

Johnson scored his first touchdown of the season Sunday against Cincinnati and has drawn the ire of fans by what many see as petulant behavior.

Twice he has drawn penalties after spiking the ball during games to show his frustration at poor blocking.

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