Warfield Will Be Active Against Miami

Eric Warfield was not happy to be inactive last Sunday against Washington, when he had his first chance to get back on the field following his four-game suspension for breaking the NFL's alcohol abuse policy.

The Chiefs insist that Warfield wasn't being punished beyond the 10 days of jail "shock time," the three months of home confinement and the league's month-long suspension following his third DUI arrest last year.

Coach Dick Vermeil repeated Tuesday his contention that Warfield was not yet ready to get back into a game after laying out a month. Though Warfield was in good cardiovascular shape after working out with Chiefs trainers during his suspension, he had not been in game or practice circumstances for a month.

But ready or not, Vermeil expects to have Warfield active for this week's game in Miami. The Chiefs may, in fact, even want to consider him for a starting assignment.

That's because replacement starter Dexter McCleon, who struggled to keep up with Washington's Santana Moss in Kansas City's 28-21 win last week, is slowed by a groin strain and likely will be questionable, at best, for the Dolphins.

Kansas City's candidates to replace McCleon might not be ready. Second-year player Benny Sapp could move up from his nickel role to a starting role but the Chiefs seem to want to keep him as the fifth cornerback for now.

Veteran Dewayne Washington is available, but he would have been beaten for the potential game-tying TD pass to Moss had not SS Sammy Knight come over from his deep position to deflect the ball away with eight seconds remaining. This could be a chance for Warfield to win back his starting job, but it will take a strong showing in practice this week.

QB Trent Green had a strong showing in his last game against Miami, a 48-30 win at Arrowhead in 2002. Green hit 24 of 34 passes for 328 yards and a career-high five TDs. His passer rating was 154.3, just off the perfect mark of 158.3.

RB Priest Holmes was held to his lowest rushing output (18 yards on 14 carries last week against Washington) since his first game with the Chiefs. That was in 2001 when Kansas City didn't know what they'd gotten from Baltimore in Holmes, who had been a backup to Jamal Lewis the previous year. It wasn't until Holmes erupted for 225 yards from scrimmage in Week Three that year that their eyes were opened. But even when limited in rushing, Holmes still had a 100-yard receiving game against Washington.

RB Larry Johnson, who continues to play on a fairly regimented schedule - he goes in on a third series after Priest Holmes takes the first two - had a solid 4.1-yard rushing average on only 13 carries (53 yards) against Washington.

WR Samie Parker, who injured a knee in the Washington game, will probably go on Wednesday's injury list as questionable. Coach Dick Vermeil held out hope Tuesday that Parker would be available, but it's unlikely that Parker will be available for Wednesday's first practice.

WR Marc Boerigter, who was inactive for the season's first three games, could see more playing time, and maybe even a start, if Samie Parker is restricted or unavailable for duty against the Dolphins because of an injured knee. Boerigter caught only two passes for 20 yards in his most extensive action of the year last week against Washington, but he also drew a defensive holding penalty that gave Kansas City a big fourth-quarter first down. He also was impressive in catching a 38-yard pass against Philadelphia one game earlier.

WR Eddie Kennison, Kansas City's receiving leader with 23 receptions, was shut out for the first time in 55 games. His streak of games with a catch was the third-longest in team history.

TE Tony Gonzalez may be struggling with only 18 receptions in five games, but he is at least a downfield target again. That should open some possibilities for the Chiefs' underneath passing game. When Gonzalez is drawing a linebacker and usually safety help as he runs the middle, it opens things up for Priest Holmes or any back to find some running room with short passes.

TE Kris Wilson, who was supposed to loom big in KC's plans for an expanded offense this year, has failed to live up to the hype. He has only one catch for 6 yards in five games this year.

WR/KR Dante Hall ranks only 20th in punt returns, though he is sixth in kickoff returns. He has a kickoff return for a touchdown this year.

WarpaintIllustrated.com Top Stories