By DOUG TUCKER, AP Sports Writer
November 15, 2006
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Trent Green is back as Kansas City's starting quarterback, 10 weeks after a brutal head-snapping hit knocked him unconscious with a severe concussion.
Coach Herm Edwards announced Wednesday that Green will start Sunday against Oakland. On Tuesday, the two-time Pro Bowler was given medical clearance to resume full contact.
After being out of game action for two months, he'll play two games in four days. The Chiefs (5-4) host the Raiders on Sunday, then Denver on Thursday night.
"I think he's going to play well," Edwards said. "I told him he doesn't have to put this team on his shoulders by any stretch of the imagination. We still have to play the type of football we're capable of playing. We've got to be able to run the ball. We've got to be a balanced offense. I told him just go out and have fun playing quarterback."
Since being knocked out by Cincinnati's Robert Geathers on Sept. 10, the 36-year-old Green slowly has worked his way back. Initially, he could not even drive a car, but several weeks ago he was allowed to resume limited practice.
Wide receiver Eddie Kennison said there was no announcement to the team by Edwards, but Green simply lined up with the first team when practice began.
"I don't think he missed a beat. It looked like he went to sleep one day and woke up the next day and was ready to go," Kennison said after Wednesday's practice. "I don't think he missed a beat at all."
Damon Huard, the career backup who stepped in smartly and kept the Chiefs in the playoff hunt by going 5-3 as the starter, will go back on the bench. Huard hit 146 of 241 passes for 1,824 yards and had only one interception to go with 11 touchdown passes. His 97.6 quarterback rating is third in the AFC and fifth in the NFL.
"All along, coach Edwards made it clear that Trent was the starting quarterback," said Huard, who until this year hadn't started a game since 2000.
"So I just knew, hey, if I'm the starting quarterback, then I'm the starting quarterback. If I'm not, I'm not. There's really not much I can do about it, other than go out there when my number is called and play as good as I can and help this team win football games."
Green, whose passing totals the past five years were topped only by Peyton Manning, declined to speak with the media.
He steps into an unenviable situation. Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City's leading receiver, is expected to be sidelined with a sprained left shoulder. And the offensive line is a patchwork of backups.
Pro Bowl left guard Brian Waters will be out with a knee injury, and right tackle Kevin Sampson is sidelined with a bad foot.
With Chris Bober starting for Waters last week at Miami and Kyle Turley in for Sampson, Huard was sacked three times and knocked to the ground on four other plays while passing for only 201 yards in a 13-10 loss.
"Can't say enough about Damon Huard, what he's done for our football team," Edwards said. "He had to come in and really keep us alive, and he did that. The team rallied around him, and now Trent's going to get an opportunity to play. I've been watching his progress the last three weeks and just feel it's time for him to play now."
Updated on Wednesday, Nov 15, 2006 5:12 pm EST