Johnson to miss second straight start for Chiefs with foot injury

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The swelling in Larry Johnson's injured right foot is subsiding, though not enough for the Kansas City Chiefs running back to play this week against the Indianapolis Colts.

Johnson, injured two weeks ago while being tackled from behind by Green Bay's A.J. Hawk, is scheduled to meet with a foot specialist on Monday. The team is still calling the injury a mid-foot sprain despite a published but unconfirmed report last week saying he had a broken foot.

The team ruled Johnson out for Sunday's game at Indianapolis and said his condition will be evaluated each week.

Johnson rushed for more than 1,700 yards each of the previous two seasons and was starting to come around before the injury, going over 100 yards three times in five games after a slow start. His injury forced the Chiefs to turn to veteran Priest Holmes, who returned three weeks ago after missing two years with a spinal cord injury.

Holmes looked good in his first full game last week, rushing for 65 yards on 20 carries in a 27-11 loss to Denver, though Chiefs coach Herm Edwards isn't ready to put the full load of Kansas City's offense on his shoulders.

"Obviously, you don't want to max him out," Edwards said Tuesday. "You don't want him to touch the ball over 30 times. That's too much. You're kidding yourself. We're not going to say all sudden you're getting 30 carries. We're just not going to do that."

That means Holmes, a three-time Pro Bowler, will likely share carries with rookie Kolby Smith, who had 2 yards on two carries against Denver.

Both backs have a more shifty style than the power-running Johnson, which led the Chiefs to dig a little deeper into their playbook last week.

Though it may have looked like Kansas City added new plays to get Holmes into open spaces against the Broncos, those were plays already in the playbook; maybe from pages that had been gathering dust for a while, but the plays are in there.

"This offense hasn't changed in two years," Edwards said. "We don't call different plays. That's a figment of people's imagination. Priest Holmes was in this offense. Priest has already been in this offense, so it wasn't like we had some new plays for Priest Holmes. They (the coaches) knew what Priest could do, so we ran those plays."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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