Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil, who said Monday that he wasn't sure if Warfield would be active for his first game back against Washington this week, changed his tune Tuesday and said Warfield will work in some situation defense packages in his first game back.
But Warfield clearly will have to work his way back into the starting job he held for the past four seasons before his suspension this year. Knowing that he would miss the season's first four games, Warfield wasn't mentally into this year's preseason games when he played with reserves, and that was reflected in some unworthy performances on the field.
Dexter McCleon, a 31-year-old corner who lost his starting job last year through some injury-related bad performances, will remain Kansas City's starting corner on the side away from Patrick Surtain until Warfield shows he's both mentally and physically ready to take over, Vermeil said.
"He'll have to look like a starter on the practice field," Vermeil said. "In his last game (in the preseason) his frame of mind wasn't good because he knew he was facing a suspension. He has to show us that his focus is back.
"But as long as he keeps his personal life as intact as it is now, I'm sure he'll be competitive again."
QB Trent Green will be facing a Washington pass defense that has not given up a 300-yard passing game in its last 26 outings, has a history of breaking such streaks against other opponents. Green, who is 6-1 at Arrowhead when throwing for 300-plus, broke Indianapolis' 14-game streak of non-300 games in 2004, and Tampa Bay's streak of 13 games that same year.
RB Priest Holmes, who had 112 total touches after four games last year, has had only 85 total touches in 2005. Part of that is because the Chiefs have worked actively to get backup Larry Johnson more involved in the offense, but the other part is game circumstances. Trailing 24-0 early in the third quarter in the loss to Denver, the Chiefs were hardly in position to run the ball, and they simply couldn't hold it for more than three plays in the second half of their loss to Philadelphia.
RB Larry Johnson will continue to play in what is essentially a 1-for-2 dispersal of the workload with Priest Holmes. The Chiefs spent part of last week's bye time wondering whether they would continue giving Johnson roughly one carry for every two Holmes gets. Holmes has 85 touches this year, with 12 of them on receptions. Johnson has 33, all of them rushes.
TE Tony Gonzalez, who has been held with a touchdown reception this year, may get back into his more accustomed role as a receiver now that Willie Roaf is back in pass protection. Gonzalez, who caught only two balls for five yards in the Philadelphia loss, has only 16 receptions this year, but that's only two fewer than he had after four games last year when he eventually caught 102 passes - the most by a tight end in NFL history.
WR/KR Dante Hall, who scored his 10th kick-return touchdown of his career against Philadelphia, now ranks No. 3 in NFL history for kick-return scores. He has amassed that total in 70 games, an average of one TD every seven games. Among players with at least six combined kick-return TD's, only Detroit WR Eddie Drummond (who had a kick return TD every 4.8 games) has a better average.
WR Eddie Kennison is coming off back-to-back 100-yard receiving games - 8 for 112 in the loss to Denver, and 7-109 in the loss to Philadelphia.
WR Samie Parker heads into the Washington game hoping for redemption after getting shut out in the Oct. 2 loss to Philadelphia. In his first full season as a starter, Parker has only seven receptions for 130 yards with one TD.
LB Derrick Johnson continues to impress in his first NFL season. He ranks second on the Chiefs (behind MLB Kawika Mitchell) with 36 tackles, but 27 of those have been credited as solo tackles, a team-high.
Warfield Will Play Against Redskins
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