Croyle misses practice with bad back, other Chiefs also hobbled

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Quarterback Brodie Croyle missed Kansas City's practice Wednesday with a sore back, and his availability for this week's game against San Diego could be in question.

Croyle, making his second start, was kicked in the back early in the Chiefs' 20-17 loss to Oakland on Sunday. He played the rest of the game, but has been too sore to do much all week.

"He's sore, pretty sore," said Chiefs coach Herm Edwards. "We'll see tomorrow where he's at, if he can go. Tomorrow we'll find out. We'll wait as long as we can."

A second-year pro who had a history of injuries during his college career at Alabama, Croyle was first thought not to be seriously hurt. But by Monday, Edwards said, it still looked bad.

"Oh, yeah," Edwards said. "He fought through it and played. That's the kind of kid he is. He's tough. He's a tough guy. He got through it, but he's sore. He actually got kicked in the back with a knee. It happened on a rollout, on one of the first plays."

If Croyle can't play Sunday, veteran Damon Huard will get the start. Huard was 163-of-262 for 1,766 yards, with eight touchdowns and 11 interceptions, in nine games before Croyle was made the starter.

"Remember, (Croyle) has taken (practice snaps) like a starter from the beginning. Now he's played in some games," Edwards said. "He actually started two games. We'll see where he's at. But we're not going to put him in harm's way. If he's not mobile enough to get out of the way, then it doesn't make any sense."

Also missing practice Wednesday and possibly not available on Sunday was right tackle Chris Terry. Edwards said Terry's mother died and he had flown home for the funeral.

"I don't know if he'll be back for the game or not," Edwards said.

Kyle Turley would replace him at right tackle.

A bit of good news for the Chiefs was that running back Larry Johnson was feeling better. The Pro Bowler, out since hurting his foot on Nov. 4, "ran around a little bit today," Edwards said. He's still out this week, however.

Also missing practice were safety Jarrad Page, who had headaches, and safety Greg Wesley, who has a sore knee. Cornerback Patrick Surtain did not practice because of a sore shoulder, but Edwards said he could be ready by Sunday.

There was a bit of levity in an otherwise somber practice when veteran placekicker John Carney, signed on Tuesday to replace Dave Rayner, successfully made several practice kicks and got a loud ovation from players.

Carney, 43, will be playing for his sixth team.

"You talk about a pro? This guy's a pro," Edwards said. "When you play this long, when you kick this long, you've got this thing pretty much figured out. He came in like he's been here all year. 'Just put it down, coach,' and he kicked it through."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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