OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -Priest Holmes completed his improbable comeback Sunday, returning to the Kansas City Chiefs' lineup nearly two years after a serious neck injury threatened the three-time Pro Bowl running back's career.
Holmes, once a dynamic runner who became the franchise's career leader in yards rushing and touchdowns, was added to the Chiefs' roster and activated for the first time since Oct. 30, 2005, for their road game against the rival Oakland Raiders.
After watching the Chiefs' first two series while wearing his helmet on the sideline, Holmes entered the game on the third play of Kansas City's third drive, shortly before the first quarter ended. He caught a screen pass from Damon Huard, but was tackled by cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha for a 6-yard loss.
Even that loss was a huge gain for the 34-year-old Holmes. He hadn't played since absorbing a vicious hit from San Diego's Shawne Merriman, causing the neck injury for a player already bedeviled by a knee injury and a previous hip problem.
Even Chiefs coach Herm Edwards - who took over the club last season - figured Holmes' career was over when the veteran wasn't able to return for 2006, spending the season on the physically unable to perform list.
But Holmes surprised the Chiefs by reporting to training camp this summer. After realizing his comeback was worth exploring, the club placed him back on the physically unable to perform list, keeping him out of full practices during camp and the first six weeks of the regular season.
Once Holmes returned to regular practice last Wednesday, the Chiefs had three weeks to evaluate him - but Edwards apparently saw what he needed to see.
The Chiefs even traded backup running back Michael Bennett to Tampa Bay for two draft picks earlier in the week, a move that cleared a roster spot to be filled by Holmes.
Kansas City apparently intends to use Holmes as a third-down back behind Larry Johnson, who became one of the NFL's elite ball carriers during Holmes' absence.
After signing as an unheralded free agent from Baltimore, Holmes enjoyed a sublime 4 1/2-year stretch with the Chiefs from 2001-05, rushing for a club-record 5,933 yards and 76 TDs. His 83 total TDs also are a franchise best.
Johnson had 3,539 yards rushing over the past two seasons, carrying the Kansas City offense in Holmes' absence.
At least one brave fan wore Holmes' red No. 31 jersey in a sea of silver-and-black shirts in the Coliseum's Black Hole.

Recent NFL Discussions

uconn / smu college hoops on Sat, Feb 2017 by armyranger
Carolina Wise Guy.....What? on Thu, Feb 2017 by Timmy1961
2017 NFL Draft Props on Fri, Feb 2017 by Blade
Handicapping Week 1 on Fri, Feb 2017 by Blade
Blade what time do you get up on Thu, Feb 2017 by Blade

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Vikings noncommittal to AP Vikings general manager Rick Spielman was noncommittal when speaking about Adrian Peterson on Thursday.
Thumbnail Krik Cousins Next Team Prop Odds Which team will Kirk Cousins be playing for in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL regular season?
Thumbnail Tony Romo Next Team Prop Odds Which team will Tony Romo play for when the 2017 NFL regular season begins? Oddsmakers have weighed in.
Thumbnail Taylor could be fit in Cleveland Could current Bills Tyrod Taylor be a fit for the quarterback-needy Browns next season?
Thumbnail Palmer, Fitz both returning for Cards The Arizona Cardinals will have their starting quarterback back for 2017, as Carson Palmer confirmed he will return to play next season.

NFL Team Pages