Holmes, who was leading the NFL in scoring and rushing when he
got hurt in early November, was placed on injured reserve Thursday.
The Chiefs indicated Wednesday they would probably finish the
year without Holmes, whose recovery from sprained knee ligaments
has gone much more slowly than the team hoped.
"Priest Holmes is making steady progress on the rehabilitation
of his right knee," Chiefs president Carl Peterson said in a
statement. "Unfortunately, that rehabilitation is taking longer
than originally anticipated, meaning Priest is running out of time
to be healthy enough to play in 2004."
Holmes was injured on what appeared to be a routine tackle at Tampa Bay on Nov. 7.
The Chiefs (4-8) have been eliminated from playoff contention and will have only three games left after Monday night's game at Tennessee.
"Upon conversation with Priest, our team doctors and medical staff, we have made the decision to place Priest on injured
reserve," Peterson said. "Our team doctors and medical personnel
expect Priest to make a full recovery and to be 100 percent for the
Holmes was the NFL's player of the month for October, when he
had three 100-yard rushing games, rushed for nine touchdowns and
caught 10 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown. That put him on
pace to be the first NFL player to score 20 or more touchdowns
rushing in three consecutive seasons.
He ends 2004 with 892 yards rushing on 196 carries, with 15
touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 187 yards and one score.
His season highlight came in the Chiefs' 56-10 win over Atlanta,
when Holmes scored four of the Chiefs' NFL-record eight TDs
On Tuesday, coach Dick Vermeil raised for the first time the
possibility Holmes would miss the rest of the year.
"I don't want Priest Holmes to feel pressure, because the most
important thing is that he heals properly so he can come back and
be 100 percent next year," Vermeil said. "If it means sitting out
[the season] and that's the best thing to do, that's exactly what
Holmes underwent hip surgery after the 2002 season. He also
spoke about retiring last spring, then came back with a strong
season that now is over.