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Hammock Parties
11-02-2005, 03:21 AM

Holmes’ status unclear for Sunday

Vermeil believes new neurological tests will satisfy running back


The Kansas City Star

In his five years in Kansas City, Priest Holmes has scored 76 rushing touchdowns and made nearly that many references about being in tune with his body.

Holmes’ body told him something after Sunday’s helmet-to-helmet collision in San Diego, and apparently it’s enough to make the Pro Bowl running back iffy for this weekend’s game with Oakland.

Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said Tuesday that Holmes is undergoing another battery of tests to make sure he’s neurologically sound. Holmes was knocked out of the game in the third quarter after being smashed by Shaun Phillips and Shawne Merriman, suffering what the Chiefs called a mild head trauma.

“We’re going to get more evaluation on him,” Vermeil said, “reports that will confirm to him and give him confidence that he’s healthy and ready to go.

“He’s had some problem with a nerve earlier in the season. He wanted to make sure, No. 1, that he feels good about it.”

Vermeil said the Chiefs will update Holmes’ status today when they release their injury report to the NFL. Two days after Kansas City left the West Coast with a long list of injuries, Vermeil seemed most concerned about Holmes and starting cornerback Patrick Surtain.

Surtain hurt his knee Sunday, tried to return, then left the game for good. Vermeil said tests showed Surtain’s knee is structurally sound, stronger than when he had a physical before he was signed in April.

“But that doesn’t mean he’s not sore,” Vermeil said.

Holmes’ injury is causing more concern in part because of a shoulder injury he sustained earlier this season. It didn’t cost him any playing time, and he leads the team in rushing yards (451) and touchdowns (six).

With Holmes out, the Chiefs failed to score in the red zone twice in the final 19 minutes and had to settle for a field goal after driving to the Chargers’ 3-yard line at the start of the fourth quarter. Holmes has been adept and making something out of nothing in his first seven games, cutting, changing direction and getting creative while the Chiefs have struggled with injuries on the offensive line.

But even before Holmes’ latest injury, Kansas City was struggling to live up to its past glory inside the 20-yard line. In the Chiefs’ first four seasons under Vermeil, they had a red-zone touchdown percentage of 64.3 percent. Now they’re ranked 23rd in the league in red-zone scoring at 46.2 percent.

“We have a feeling now what it’s like to be a more normal NFL football team,” Vermeil said. “Because we haven’t been normal down there. We’ve done the extraordinary down there in terms of rushing touchdowns. No one’s done what we’ve done down there. Nobody.

“And so you get spoiled. But other teams get better.”

Holmes hasn’t been able to finish two of the last three seasons because of injury, and in his recovery time, he’s repeatedly talked about being in tune with his body. His body, Holmes says, dictates when he’s ready to play.

It seems to work. At 32, he’s still considered the team’s main weapon. And the Chiefs still hang on every one of his injury reports.

“I think everybody’s different in those situations,” Vermeil said. “We’re going through the process with him just like everybody else.”

Hammock Parties
11-02-2005, 03:22 AM
First news on Surtain as far as I've seen. I was worried he had a tear.

11-02-2005, 04:10 AM
First news on Surtain as far as I've seen. I was worried he had a tear.

Definitly sounds good. I hadn't read much on his injury but it sounded like it could have possibly been something structural or even a cartlidge injurey. Great news that his MRI came back clean.

11-02-2005, 04:42 AM
I'm not that worried about Holmes not playing. Rest him up. Johnson will be fine. I was worried about Surtain but it sounds like good news!