Lightning ends Chiefs' win over Packers

Updated: August 5, 2003, 11:32 AM ET

CANTON, Ohio -- More than 100 of the NFL's greatest players attended the Hall of Fame's 40th anniversary party. There were parades, banquets, luncheons and autograph sessions before the annual exhibition game.

Nobody ordered the thunder, lightning or heavy rains.

"It was a dangerous situation," Green Bay coach Mike Sherman said. "Not just the lightning but the depth of the water."

Priest Holmes, whose 2002 season ended early with a hip injury, passed the biggest test yet in his comeback as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Packers 9-0 in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game, shortened to less than three quarters Monday night by severe storms.

"They made the right decision," Packers cornerback Al Harris said. "Believe me, everybody wanted to play, but you don't mess with lightning."

There was also a sobering moment when Chiefs offensive tackle Willie Jones was immobilized and taken off the field on a stretcher late in the second quarter with a strained neck.

Jones was released from Aultman Hospital on Tuesday.

Following the game, Chiefs coach Dick Vermiel said Jones had regained feeling in his hands and feet.

"He's been through this before, so he sort of has a history with it," Vermeil said. "This wasn't anything like the last time he did it, though."

Jones, who suffered temporary paralysis last season during a practice, collapsed to the turf with 17 seconds to go before halftime.

"He went down and wasn't moving," Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez said. "I felt like my heart stopped. It looked like he wasn't breathing. It's the worst thing, to see a player down like that. We were all saying our prayers."

The Packers were also moved at the sight of the 6-foot-6, 355-pounder motionless on the ground. Following the game, many asked reporters for an update on Jones.

"One minute you want to hit the guy across from you," safety Marques Anderson said, "the next you're praying for him."

Kansas City had just taken a 9-0 lead on a 27-yard field goal by Jose Cortez with 5:55 left in the third quarter when lightning filled the sky and thunder shook Fawcett Stadium.

Play was halted for nearly 30 minutes before NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue decided to cancel the remainder of the game with 5:49 left in the third.

Both teams have been involved in other weather-related exhibition cancellations.

In 1996, the Chiefs had a 14-10 win over Chicago shortened by second-half lightning. At the Hall of Fame game in 1980, the Packers and San Diego Chargers were tied 0-0 with 5:29 left when then-commissioner Pete Rozelle called it because of lightning.

Morten Andersen, the second-leading scorer in NFL history, kicked two field goals for the Chiefs on Monday.

Holmes ran for 15 yards on five carries in his first game since a season-ending injury to his right hip in December.

Holmes, who led the league with 1,555 yards rushing in 2001, was encouraged by his performance -- but not surprised.

"For me, it was just a matter of doing the same things I've done all camp long," he said. "I was able to take on some tackles. I'm pretty much calloused to injuries. I've had to overcome so many injuries that I'm not going to let this one stop me."

On Kansas City's first play, Holmes gained three yards. Three plays later, he slithered for five yards -- his longest run -- after making two cuts while picking his way through the line of scrimmage.

Holmes was relieved to take a few hits on his hip and be able to get up and walk away.

"It was just a matter of getting in there and having more guys land on me," he said. "As far as taking hits, I'll be taking plenty more this season."

Holmes has asked the Chiefs for a contract extension, and said if he gets one it will be handled quietly.

"No one will even know when it's done," he said. "There is a business side of this, but no one will know when it's written up."

Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre was on the field for just two series. He went 4-of-6 for 54 yards, but couldn't get Green Bay's offense -- missing four starters with injuries -- rolling.

"We didn't score any points," Favre said. "I wish we would have, but it's hard to gauge because we have a lot of guys injured. We didn't do anything spectacular, but we didn't do anything really bad either."

Game notes
Packers rookie DL Kenny Peterson recovered a fumble on his third play as a pro, and he did it on his high school field. Peterson played at Canton McKinley -- located next door to the Hall of Fame. ... Packers TE Tyrone Davis twisted his left knee in the second quarter and didn't return. ... DE Eric Hicks (sprained ankle), FB Omar Easy (sprained knee) and DT Derrick Ransom (sprained knee) were injured for Kansas City.

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