Holmes Doubtful

Running back Priest Holmes did not have any torn muscles in his hip, according to preliminary X-rays, but appears to have a strain in the area of his hip flexor.

He left the Denver locker room walking on crutches, and though he is a gamer, his condition bears watching heading into the San Diego game. Holmes' main incentive to play remains his desire to set the league record for single-season touchdown (26). Holmes currently has 24.

The Chiefs were awaiting results today of an MRI on Holmes, who has been far and away their best and most durable player this season. The injury, sustained in Sunday's game at Denver, involves the muscles in the hip area.

"I don't think it's of a serious nature," Coach Dick Vermeil said. Right now he is listed as doubtful.

Holmes, the defending rushing champion, is currently leading the league again with 1,615 yards, 14 more than Ricky Williams of Miami.

Holmes was hurt in the third quarter Sunday after he was dragged down awkwardly from behind by Denver's Tyrone Poole at the end of a 56-yard run.

Sunday would be the Chiefs' first game without Holmes since signing him last year. Obviously, they have come to lean on him heavily. Between rushes and receptions, he accounted for 42 percent of their yardage and 44 percent of their touchdowns.

Fullback Tony Richardson is also out after suffering a shoulder injury Sunday leaving the Chiefs with backups Mike Cloud and Omar Easy as they face two must-win games.

"Mike Cloud can play," Vermeil said. "He happens to be playing behind one of the best. (Derrick) Blaylock has some talent. Are they Priest Holmes? No. There's only one Priest Holmes in this league right now.

"It won't change our thinking. We gave (Cloud) the ball (in the fourth quarter Sunday in Denver), and he produced."

Said San Diego Coach Marty Schottenheimer: "I am sure Coach Vermeil will have a new idea up his sleeve. He is very creative."

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