Wide Receivers Down and Out

Injuries were the story yesterday in River Falls, Wisconsin, as three of Trent Green's targets continue to sit out.

Wide receiver Johnnie Morton injured Achilles tendon kept him out of practice again. He had an MRI and it showed inflamation and he could be out for another four or five days. Receiver Eddie Kennison remains sidelined with a sore wrist and his progress is slow. Tony Gonzalez continues to practice only once a day to give his foot a reat. Don't look for Gonzaelz to particiapte in both practice sessions anytime soon.

As mentioned yesterday, Marc Boerigter is limited due to a strained shoulder and he is not expected back on the practice field until next week at the earliest. In fact, it's doubtful any of the banged up receivers will play in the scrimmage this weekend with the Vikings. It's even more remote that they'll be suited up for the first exhibition game next Friday against the New York Giants.

To help rest the injuries the team will not practice until 4:30 today; special teams will take the field in the morning. Head coach Dick Vermeil rested his Priest Holmes on Tuesday but he was back at practice on Wednesday participating in both sessions.

Vermeil, who had a pretty good running back in St. Louis, named Marshall Faulk, knows when to rest an All-Pro player. Holmes has had 960 carries as part of the Kansas City Chiefs and 1,419 in his career.

Holmes in the off season contemplated the possibility of retirement. During his days at the University of Texas, Holmes would see what the NFL could do to a body when the great Earl Campbell would come to campus.

"We would see the condition (Campbell) was in, and it made you wonder as a running back if you could end up the same way," Holmes explained to the Topeka Capital Journal.

In Holmes' first three seasons with Chiefs has averaged 320 carries and 1,530 yards. If he continues on the pace of carries he will shatter the number of times Campbell rushed the ball for the Houston Oilers at 2,187

"If you would have asked me last year, I would have told you that I thought about retiring." Holmes said to the Topeka Capital Journal. "It's a matter of going to the table every year and deciding what you want to do. At my position, if you go in there with any doubts or hesitation, you could get hurt."

In a season that requires a minimum of 19 games to win the Super Bowl and Holmes is hurting nine days into camp and was 39 percent of the Chiefs offense last year. So the coaching staff and Holmes agreed to take a day off.

"I just have to make sure I'm pacing myself and speaking up when the hip is sore," Holmes said. "As long as I'm doing that, they'll take care of me and make sure I get proper treatment and back on the field."

With injuries also come the surprises of camp, and one of those players is seventh round pick tackle Kevin Sampson. 230 draftees were picked before Sampson, and he is trying to beat the odds and join the lists of players such as Tony Richardson, Eric Hicks, Casey Wiegmann, Brian Waters, and earlier, players like Danan Hughes, Dave Szott, Todd McNair, Kevin Ross and many more. All of them were not high-touted draft picks, Sampson is clearly turning heads in River Falls.

"This is something I've dreamed about doing since I was a little kid and first put the pads on," Sampson said.

Sampson was a starter for the Syracuse Orange his final two seasons. Many teams did not even have him on their draft board in April.

Northeast scout Cornell Gowdy felt otherwise. "There wasn't much I didn't like about him," Gowdy said on kcchiefs.com. "He was tough, showed athletic ability, stayed on his feet, showed quickness and he was able to play in space. He projected the stuff we like to do here with our offensive linemen."

Chiefs Notes:
Linebacker Mike Maslowski had a setback on Wednesday when his surgically repaired knee swelled up after practice. Dick Vermeil is concerned that the knee is preventing him from practicing at full speed. It's a good thing that Kawika Mitchell is having a solid training camp because he's likely to get the brunt of the work at middle linebacker with Maslowski hurting. Monte Beisel who probably is the best tackler on the defensive side of the ball will get some work as a back-up to Mitchell in practice the next couple of days.

Eric Hicks is back with a fire. Back-up running back Larry Johnson who has had an amazing training camp, attempted to block Hicks down low but the Chiefs defensive end didn't like it and the two scuffled. They both threw a few punches but nothing too serious. Both players addressed the media after the altercation and Johnson was convinced that he was the winner of the fight. Johnson is showing a flair and fire in camp.

For all those rumors about the Chiefs looking into trading Larry Johnson can forget about it. A Chiefs official told Warpaint Illustrated that they have no intention of trading the second year running back. "You can never have enough good running backs," the official told us.

Both starting offensive linemen Casey Wiegmann and John Welbourn took a breather from last nights practice. Neither has a serious injury, Dick Vermeil just wanted to give them both a rest on Wednesday.

We mentioned this yesterday but kicker Lawrence Tynes continues to impress the Chiefs with his solid kicking. He's battling ageless Morten Andersen and Tynes has been nearly perfect in all his attempts up in River Falls. The Chiefs might be forced to carry two kickers this season because it will be hard for Dick Vermeil to cut Andersen.

Quote of the Day:
"No, I don't need any loans. I am happy for Larry. He is a good guy and an even better player. I am just happy for him. He deserves it." – Chiefs back up tight end Kris Wilson when asked by a reporter if he asked former Pittsburgh teammate for a loan after he broke the Arizona Cardinals bank after signing his new contract.


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