Up next: First look at Kansas City

Two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Trent Green will not return to the Kansas City lineup for Sunday's game against the 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium. As the Chiefs come off their bye week, it still is undetermined when the 13th-year veteran will play again, underscoring the problems Kansas City is having with the NFL's reigning No. 1 offense.

Green, 36, suffered a severe concussion in the Sept. 10 season opener against Cincinnati and has been replaced by journeyman Damon Huard, who will start against the 49ers.

Kansas City coach Herman Edwards said Green was "doing better" and might even visit the team sometime this week, but Edwards said Green was definitely out for the Week 4 game against the Niners. The Chiefs have declined to speculate when Green will rejoin the team.

The loss of Green underscores the problems the Chiefs are having on offense. Kansas City, which led the NFL in total offense last season, was just 21st in the league in that department entering its bye week.

Edwards knew that sooner or later he would have to make almost as many changes in the vaunted Chiefs offense as were necessary in the porous Kansas City defense.

He just didn't know it would come this soon.

Edwards, remember, inherited the NFL's top offense of the past two seasons. But it also was a unit that ended the 2005 season with eight starters who would be 30-something at some point in 2006.

Edwards silently hoped that he might get one more season out of this same offense.

"It's kind of like when you get a flat and they give you that little tire and you're driving on it wondering if you can go just another day before getting it fixed," Edwards said.

But the tires started going flat for the 0-2 Chiefs before the season started. Right tackle John Welbourn retired rather than face another NFL-ordered suspension. Fullback Tony Richardson was allowed to slip away via free agency. After initially saying he would play in 2006, Willie Roaf retired despite the team's bid to talk him out of it.

Then Green was knocked cold in the season opener against Cincinnati, and the Chiefs offensive machine has gone completely flat.

The transition to the run-oriented, ball-control, short-passing game Edwards thought the Chiefs would have to play eventually began in earnest when the Chiefs gave a limited game plan to backup Huard in a competitive 9-6 Week Two loss in Denver. But as they went into their Week 3 bye, they also knew they couldn't stay offensively limited forever.

"We know we've got to throw the ball better," Edwards acknowledged. "We've got to get more of our big-play players involved in the passing game."

The 49ers will try to prevent that from happening for at least another week.

--- QB Trent Green says he still wants to play this year after missing the last two games with a severe concussion sustained in the opener. But it won't be following the Week Three bye, as some had hoped. The Chiefs right now are waiting for Green to get the OK from his doctors, and right now no one knows for certain when that will be. "There's no rush," insisted coach Herm Edwards. "He's going to come back when it's time to come back."
--- WR Rod Gardner isn't necessarily a cinch to be activated for the 45-man gameday roster when the Chiefs come back from their bye week and begin preparations for Sunday's game against the 49ers. The Chiefs acquired Gardner before the Denver game, but he wasn't ready to play then. "He's a big, physical guy who can run, and we've got to find a way to get him dressed (on game day) and see what he can do," Edwards said. "But I don't see us dressing five receivers unless four and five are really good special teams players."
--- CB Ty Law played primarily on the defensive left side in the loss to Denver and played primarily on the right in the opener against Cincinnati. Both Law and fellow CB Patrick Surtain played primarily on the left during their previous years in the league, but both seem capable of moving around to get the best possible defensive matchups in their first year together in Kansas City.

Niners Digest Top Stories