The KC Chiefs just a few days after trading running back Michael Bennett have found themselves a new running back. Well, not really a new running back, but a back they have not seen on the field in some time – Priest Holmes. Saturday the team made Holmes’ comeback official, as they activated the back for Sunday’s game in Oakland. The four-time Pro Bowl back has not appeared in a game since October 30th 2005 against the Chargers. In was in that game that he suffered serious head and neck trauma.
The 34-year-old was never supposed to play again, but never let the dream die. He spent the rest of 2005 on injured reserve, and the 06 season on the PUP list. He reported to training camp this summer, and started the year on the non-football injury list, but again, kept the thought of playing in the back of his mind. He began taking part in practice earlier this week, and head coach Herm Edwards said that Holmes has done everything asked to make it all the way back.
“In my opinion, he’s about as good as he’s going to get,” Edwards said earlier this week. “The only thing you don’t know is when he gets tackled and he hits the ground, can he hold onto the football? He hasn’t had any contact. . . He’s been knocked around in practice, but he hasn’t had any contact. He’s done everything you can do, except play.”
What type of role Holmes will play is anyone’s guess. Larry Johnson is still the feature back, and against a Raiders team that is better against the pass than run, you can bet that he is going to see a lot of carries. As for Holmes, he could spell Johnson, and once he takes that first big hit, it will be interesting to see how he reacts. If nothing else, it’s a great comeback story for a player that has shown a lot of heart in making it back on the playing field.