Kansas City Chiefs Report

Trent Green's head trauma, suffered via a violent blow from Bengals defensive end Robert Geathers' shoulder pad and the Arrowhead turf during the third quarter of the Chiefs loss to the Bengals on Sunday, was probably not the difference in the game. The Chiefs trailed 17-3 at that point.

But it might be the difference in the season. Though X-rays were negative and Green regained feeling in all his extremities and memory of all but the injury-causing blow, he is out indefinitely, making journeyman Damon Huard Kansas City's starting quarterback.

Having spent the last two seasons as the Chiefs' No. 3 quarterback, Huard's 12-for-20, 140-yard performance on Sunday marked his first pass completion since 2000. Chiefs coach Herman Edwards was emphatic that Huard would start Sunday at Denver, should Green be unable to play, meaning the Chiefs offense went from the league's best the last two years to a one-dimensional unit with a third-string quarterback under center and no reliable offensive tackles.

The 36-year-old Green made his 81st consecutive start Sunday after injuries plagued him early in his career. When backup Todd Collins left via free agency over the offseason, the Chiefs took a chance on Huard as the No. 2.

Instead of signing another veteran to backup Green, they drafted Alabama's Brodie Croyle, who became the No. 3 quarterback in training camp and left Huard in the No. 2 spot.


--For the first time since October of 2005, Chiefs running back Larry Johnson rushed for fewer than 100 yards, breaking a nine-game streak. Johnson carried 17 times for 68 yards Sunday, his worst performance since his six-carry, 55-yard game against San Diego in Week 6 of last year when he split carries with Priest Holmes. "Until we play good football, it doesn't matter how many yards or touchdowns we get," guard Brian Waters said. "It doesn't matter if we're great or not. It doesn't matter how many carries people get. It's about winning the football game. We weren't moving the ball early in the game by running, so we had to pass the ball sometimes." Against the Bengals in Week 17 last year, Johnson rushed for 201 yards on 26 carries.

--The hit that knocked Chiefs quarterback Trent Green out of the game Sunday was not penalized, though Chiefs coach Herman Edwards said he expects the league to review the play. "It was helmet-to-helmet and that's always tough," Edwards said. "Officials will have to look at it on tape and we've been advised not to comment on officials calls." Bengals defensive end Robert Geathers hit Green in the head with his shoulder pad while Green was in the midst of a slide, causing Green's head to violently slam to the Arrowhead turf. Officials explained to Edwards that Geathers was not penalized because he had already left his feet when Green began his slide.

--Chiefs quarterback Trent Green is out indefinitely with head trauma suffered Sunday against the Bengals. If he cannot play Sunday, Damon Huard will start in his place.

--Offensive tackle Kevin Sampson missed the Chiefs' loss to Cincinnati with a hamstring injury.

--Offensive Tackle Will Svitek had been working with the first team in practice, but Jordan Black instead started at the right tackle spot Sunday.

--The retirement of offensive tackle John Welbourn made sudden sense last week when the NFL announced he was suspended for violating the league's drug policy, his second offense.

--The Chiefs pulled starting safety Sammy Knight in the second half of Sunday's game, replacing him with rookie seventh-round pick Jarrad Page. The Chiefs reportedly yanked Knight for blowing coverages on two pass plays. It is unknown which player will start against the Broncos.

--CB Lenny Walls replaced Benny Sapp when the Chiefs went to their nickel package. Sapp was the incumbent nickel corner, though he and the newly-acquired Walls both played the position in training camp.



PASSING OFFENSE: D-minus -- Green ran for his life most of the first half, and appeared to have nearly lost it in the third quarter. The Bengals had seven sacks. Damon Huard's numbers were presentable, but most of the yardage was meaningless and came against a soft, prevent-minded Bengals defense. Oh, don't put much weight into the 10-catch performance by Tony Gonzalez. The Chiefs forgot about him in the preseason and did the same Sunday until the game was basically over.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-plus -- Larry Johnson's yards per carry (4.0) were tolerable. His attempts (17) were far too few, but game situations dictated the Chiefs had to throw. Still, when the focal point of your offense is the running game, and your running back is Larry Johnson and he has 68 rushing yards, you have not had a good day.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- The Bengals hurt Kansas City with one no-huddle drive, but the Chiefs gave up only one big passing play (a 30-yard completion) and held Carson Palmer to 127 yards. This grade is not an A simply because the Chiefs did not appear to know how to cover Chad Johnson. He burned them for four catches on the no-huddle touchdown drive, mostly on timing patterns against a huge cushion.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- The Bengals averaged 3.4 yards per carry. Minus his 22-yard touchdown run, Rudi Johnson averaged 2.7 yards per rush. The Chiefs appear to have finally put together a front seven with the necessary athleticism. The strength of the run defense is the linebacking corps of Derrick Johnson, Kawika Mitchell and Kendrell Bell, though sack man Jared Allen has a tendency to make plays against the run as well.

SPECIAL TEAMS: F -- Dante Hall muffed a punt after the Chiefs had scored and held Cincinnati and later mishandled a kickoff, though he recovered in time for a marginal return. His fumbled punt directly led to three points and shifted all the momentum. Lawrence Tynes later missed a 51-yard field goal, though he can hardly be blamed, given the rain and field conditions. Even punter Dustin Colquitt, who had enjoyed a monster preseason, averaged just 41.3 yards on four punts.

COACHING: C -- On third-and-five from the Bengals' 11-yard line on Kansas City's initial scoring drive, the Chiefs went with an obvious running formation and handed to Johnson up the gut for no gain. Edwards said the play call was the result of a "miscommunication," presumably between Edwards and new offensive coordinator Mike Solari. The Chiefs also had defensive problems when the Bengals went to a no-huddle, with players saying there was confusion on play calls. So Kansas City had trouble defending an offensive strategy the Bengals are known for and had trouble deciding what to do in the Red Zone. Not good. Top Stories