Ravens, Chiefs expect Holmes to be healthy

OWINGS MILLS - Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick wouldn't recommend gambling against Kansas City Chiefs running back Priest Holmes playing in Sunday's football game. One day after the former Ravens starter and reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year missed practice because of a sore hip flexor, Billick said he regards Holmes as anything but questionable. Holmes was limited in practice Friday, but is expected to start.

"What's the lotto at right now?" Billick said. "I would bet more on me winning the lotto than Priest not playing. He wasn't even on our injury report, seriously."

Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson predicted on his radio show Thursday night that Holmes wouldn't miss his return to Baltimore. "He's a pro," Peterson said. "This is not a major concern in any fashion."

The sore muscle is on the same side where Holmes injured his hip at the end of last season. Doctors removed soft tissue and bone fragments from his right side in late March, but Holmes has recovered well from the surgery and leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns with seven.

Through three games, Holmes has rushed for 296 yards and leads the Chiefs with 13 receptions for 171 yards. "I'm fine," Holmes told the Kansas City Star. "I'll be ready to go."

Meanwhile, Billick said he expects to have starting left guard Edwin Mulitalo (knee, ankle) back for Sunday's 4 p.m. kickoff at M&T Bank Stadium along with wide receiver Frank Sanders (hamstring) and linebacker Ed Hartwell (ankle). Sanders is listed as questionable, but has practiced for the last few days without complaint.

Mulitalo, who is listed as questionable along with safety Gerome Sapp (knee), hasn't had any setbacks since missing last week's 24-10 win over the San Diego Chargers with a sprained knee and ankle. If he can't play, Casey Rabach would start again in his place.

The Ravens have ruled fullback Harold Morrow (cracked elbow) out, listed running back Musa Smith (knee) as doubtful with safeties Ed Reed (knee) and Chad Williams (groin), Hartwell and running back Chester Taylor (hand) designated as probable.

"Right now, I feel good, so, yeah, I'm going to go," Mulitalo said. "I took most of the reps with the first offense, went full-go and it went well. No problems."

CLARETT CHALLENGE: Billick was pointed in his remarks on the merits of suspended Ohio State sophomore running back Maurice Clarett's lawsuit against the NFL's provision against underclassmen entering the annual draft.

"I see absolutely nothing good coming out of the Clarett situation, for the NFL, for the NCAA or for Maurice Clarett," Billick said.

Clarett is under investigation by NCAA and Ohio State officials for everything from allegations of extra-benefit rule violations to academic transgressions in addition to a legal matter involving an exaggerated report filed with Columbus, Ohio police.

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said he spoke with Clarett and advised him to be careful as he attempts to traverse an unusual path to professional football. "I spoke to Maurice and the main thing I told him was you got to keep God first," Lewis said. "You can't let a situation dictate what you are. Young kids have to understand that."

Clarett has several other options, including: returning to Ohio State, if reinstated, since he's enrolled in classes, transferring to a smaller school such as Grambling, or playing in the Canadian Football League.

Clarett is being advised by NFL Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, and, apparently, Lewis, and many others. "It's such a sticky situation," Lewis said. "I don't know what he should do."

QUICK HITS: Chiefs safety Greg Wesley (lower back strain) is questionable, but returned to practice Thursday, as did cornerback William Bartee (ankle). The Chiefs' other prominent injuries include probable listings for Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez (foot) and safety Jerome Woods (knee). … The only other time the Ravens and Chiefs played was a 35-8 Kansas City rout in Baltimore on Oct. 21, 1999. … The Ravens have a bye week after this game. … Reed is tied for the league lead with three interceptions and the last year's first-round draft pick has seven in his first 18 NFL games. … Nickel back Tom Knight made his Ravens debut last week with two tackles in his first appearance since the 2001 campaign due to leg injuries. "I had been waiting for this for too long," Knight said. "It's as much a relief to finish the game healthy as it was a joy to play."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

Ravens Insider Top Stories