November 6, 2007
AP - Nov 6, 2:08 pm EST
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- One of the NFL's most feeble offenses is almost certain to be without its star running back for at least a week, and possibly longer.
Larry Johnson, a two-time Pro Bowl player, has a sprained right foot and is highly questionable for Sunday's game against Denver, Kansas City coach Herm Edwards said Tuesday.
Edwards declined to speculate on how long Johnson might be out, saying he did not have enough information.
"He's got a swollen foot right now so that's not good," he said.
Johnson's foot got caught under the weight of A.J. Hawk and twisted awkwardly as the Green Bay linebacker dragged him down from behind in the fourth quarter Sunday of the Packers' 33-22 victory. He was on crutches as he left the stadium.
"The severity of it, I don't know because I'm not the doctor," Edwards said. "As far as I know right now, it will be very difficult for him to play this week."
Edwards said the Chiefs were waiting to hear from other doctors.
"Second opinions, MRIs, all that stuff," he said. "The one thing we do here is we make sure we go to the fullest extent of making sure we know exactly where a player's at."
Into the breach will step Priest Holmes. The three-time Pro Bowl player has made an unexpected comeback after being out of football for almost two years following a spinal injury in October 2005. Rookie Kolby Smith, a fifth-round draft choice out of Louisville, will share the carries.
Even with Johnson, Kansas City (4-4) is averaging only 79.5 yards on the ground, 30th in the league. The Chiefs' total offense is also 30th, at 286.3 yards per game, and they're scoring only 15.5 points, 29th overall in the 32-team league.
Holmes, one of the best running backs in the NFL in his prime, seems unlikely to be his old self. He's now 34 and has touched the ball only a few times in the two games he's played.
"Priest Holmes obviously won't be the featured back. We're going to have to do it by committee," Edwards said. "Kolby Smith is going to be used. I'm not going to sit here and say Priest will carry the ball 30 times. That wouldn't be fair to Priest."
Despite the lack of offense, the Chiefs still find themselves tied with San Diego in the weak AFC West, and with a road victory over the Chargers. With San Diego playing at Indianapolis this week while the Chiefs host the struggling Denver Broncos, Kansas City figures to have a good chance of regaining first place all by itself.
"I don't think a wild-card is coming out of this division this year," Edwards said.
He also reiterated that he's not planning to bench Damon Huard for second-year man and presumed quarterback of the future Brodie Croyle. But he also suggested a switch could be in the works.
Huard has thrown nine interceptions while hitting just eight touchdown passes. But an unsettled offensive line has also allowed him to be sacked 23 times in eight games.
"Damon's done a decent job," Edwards said. "My whole deal now is if we're going to win this division or have a shot at it, we've got to score more points. There's no doubt about it."