Blaylock, who was part of the tandem with Holmes that scored a record eight touchdowns in the win over Atlanta, could possibly carry the load for the Chiefs. Blaylock has rushed for 150 yards this season but Johnson should also get some carries. On the season the former first round pick, Johnson has gained 40 yards on 11 carries.
"Offensively, we've proven we can play with Derrick Blaylock and, hopefully, Larry Johnson will grow a little bit from last week's experience." Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil said, "You don't replace Priest Holmes. You take him out of the huddle you lose something, that's all there is to it. How much we won't know until the game's over."
Also on the Chiefs injury front, linebacker Shawn Barber was put on injured reserve Wednesday afternoon. Barber has started 24 staright game for Kansas City, since joining the team as a free agent last season and he is in for a long rehabilitation that could jepordize his availability for training camp in 2005.
To take the place of Barber the Chiefs signed Rich Scanlon off their practice squad to a three year contract. Scanlon is a former second team All-Big East selection at Syracuse where he was one of the Orangemen's top tacklers. He has spent all of this season on the practice squad, after joining the team as an undrafted free agent rookie.
"Obviously we are disappointed to lose another starting linebacker in Shawn Barber for the remainder of the 2004 season," Chiefs President Carl Peterson said. "Losing starting MLB Mike Maslowski has certainly had an effect on our defense. Unfortunately, losing a player like Shawn Barber will effect us, also. However, we have a number of fine young linebackers on our roster who will fill the void of losing both Mike and Shawn."
With the injury to Holmes, quarterback Trent Green and his wide receivers. Green has looked like a brand new quarterback since the start of the season. He has thrown for almost 1,800 yards, and 12 touchdown passes in weeks three through eight. In the first two games he barely threw for 300 yards and was unable to find the enxd zone.
"Well we're not going to change anything. Our approach has been our approach for the last four years." Green said, "The advantage New Orleans has is their opponents the last two weeks has been (Oakland head coach) Norv (Turner) and (San Diego offensive coordinator) Cam Cameron, those guys run the same offense. I was with both of them in Washington and they run the same offense. A little different approach; a little different attack style.
Two of Green's top targets are closing in on the 1,000 yard receiving barrier this season. Tight end Tony Gonzalez and wide receiver Johnnie Morton each have exceeded 500 yards at the half way point of the season. They have also combined for seven touchdowns as well. Wide receiver Eddie Kennison has almost 400 yards, but no touchdowns; he does however have a 16 yard a catch average.
"I just think that Tony right now is playing better than I've seen him play." Green said, "I'm talking from an overall game standpoint, from his run blocking to his ability to catch the ball. He's making some catches – and I've been fortunate to throw to him now for four years – but he's making some catches now that I haven't seen him make like this on a consistent basis, back-to-back-to-back. He's playing at an extremely high level."
This game will also be the first trip back to the Super Dome for offensive linemen Willie Roaf. Roaf, who played for the Saints from 1993 to 2001. The Chiefs haven't played New Orleans since 1999.