Anybody see this? Anybody concerned? Anybody with roster room running out to grab Larry Johnson vs. Houston?
Priest Holmes questionable for Houston
By DOUG TUCKER, AP Sports Writer
September 16, 2003
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Priest Holmes is questionable for Sunday's game at Houston with bruised ribs, raising anew the question of whether Kansas City is asking too much of its Pro Bowl running back.
Holmes, the NFL's offensive player of the year in 2002, missed the final two games last season with a hip injury that required surgery in March and had him on crutches for several weeks.
The Chiefs have said they wanted Holmes to get fewer touches than last season, when he had 313 carries for 1,615 yards and 70 passes for another 672 in just 14 games.
But in victories over San Diego and Pittsburgh, Holmes has 53 touches, more than anyone else in the NFL except Miami's Ricky Williams -- a lot of punishment for a running back who will turn 30 in a few weeks.
While nobody is saying Holmes' bruised ribs won't be healed by Sunday, head coach Dick Vermeil said Tuesday that rookie Larry Johnson could be activated this week for the first time.
Chiefs coaches are sensitive to suggestions that they might be subjecting their top player to more injury by overuse.
``Last year at this time, Priest had 44 carries for 206 yards and four touchdowns,'' offensive coordinator Al Saunders said.
``This year he's had 44 carries for 207 yards and five touchdowns. Last year after two games he had 11 catches for 50-some yards. This year he's had nine catches for 104-some yards. His workload is exactly the same after the first two games as it was last year.''
Holmes seems to get better as the game goes on. His best run against Pittsburgh was a 31-yard scoring scamper in the fourth quarter that put the cap on a 41-20 victory.
``There were some situations (against Pittsburgh) where he took some hits off some guys not finishing up front,'' Saunders said. ``You don't ever like him to take those solid hits. But you can't be so protective of him that he's not playing, and he gets out of the flow of the game. If he doesn't get that kind of flow in the game, he's not going to be as effective.
``He won't make the proper reads, he won't be able to hit the lanes like he normally does. At this point, he's getting about what a starting running back in the league should get.''
Nevertheless, some critics are asking why a valuable player coming off hip surgery was still playing against the hard-tackling Steelers with a 34-20 lead and about five minutes to go.
``As soon as you start taking people out of the game, you send a message to the rest of the team that you think it's over,'' Vermeil said.
``I've been in games, coached in games, when people have come back in six minutes and scored 14 or 17 points and beat you. You're just shocked. You just can't figure out what happened. Sometimes you can create that by sending a message late in the ballgame, and you can't get it back again.''
One of the scariest moments last week came on Holmes' second TD, when he vaulted across the goal line and landed, with all his 213 pounds, squarely on that surgically repaired hip.
He got up and went to the sideline and was re-taped.
``I've got to learn how to land on my feet because I want to be there for the next play,'' he said with a grin.
``Actually there was nothing wrong after I dove other than my back was hurting. And it didn't happen on that play. When it comes to playing football, you never know how hard you're getting hit until maybe four or five plays later.''
... in my opinion, of course - but that should always go without saying.
www.bigfellas.net (home of the golf rap "On The Green")
You might want to check out Tony Richardson. Here is an excerpt from Yahoo Sports:
Sep 15 According to the KC Star, rookie Larry Johnson was inactive for the second straight week. Derrick Blaylock was active, but he did not carry the ball. He had a 19-yard catch. When Priest Holmes wasn't running wild against the Steelers, it was fullback Tony Richardson who carried the rock five times for 19 yards.
Views: Priest hinted during the preseason that T-Rich would be the one carrying the ball if he could not, and that's exactly what is happening. Richardson has been a good soldier for this team for years and Dick Vermeil trusts him more than Blaylock or Johnson. If you want the right handcuff with Holmes, drop Blaylock and/or Johnson and pick up Richardson. Not that it matters, however, as Holmes looks positively indestructable.
Don't go out and get Larry Johnson. Gary Blaylock is the no 2 back in KC. Holmes might have had a MRI Monday but thats not confermed. He's tough and will play though enless something serious shows on the MRI. Even with banged up ribs he still worth starting over alot of other backs.
Fantasy football's best player, Priest Holmes, is questionable for this week's game against Houston due to bruised ribs, according to the AP. The coaching staff has indicated that first round choice Larry Johnson, inactive for the first two games, could be activated on Sunday as a precautionary measure. Holmes was still being used late in last Sunday's game despite a 21-point lead, drawing some criticism from media and fans.
Fantasy owners shouldn't panic. Bruised ribs are not a big deal by NFL standards. With a week of rest, we believe Holmes will be ready for the Texans. Johnson has been inactive because the coaching staff doesn't trust him yet. If Priest were unable to play, you would see some Johnson, some Derrick Blaylock, and a whole lot of two-way back Tony Richardson.
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I have Priest and he will definitely start for me Sunday.
I also have Larry Johnson, but wouldn't consider starting him, even if Priest goes out. It seems if Priest were to go down it would be a running back by committee approach, with Blaylock and Richardson getting the majority of carries.
I would expect Priest to play well this weekend, but if the Chiefs get up early, don't expect Priest to play very long.