Just one day after Herm Edwards indicated he would withhold the identity of his starting quarterback until Sunday, to create a competitive advantage over the Oakland Raiders, the Kansas City Chiefs' head coach announced on Wednesday afternoon that Trent Green will return to the starting lineup.
Green took snaps with the first-unit offense for much of Wednesday's practice, getting back into the flow of running the team.
"I've been watching him in practice for almost three weeks now, and felt it was time for him to get back in there," Edwards said after the Wednesday practice. "Obviously, he had to be cleared by the doctors and he was. I think he's excited to be playing. I told him not to feel like he has to put this team on his shoulders. We still have to run the ball well, do the things we need to do to be a winning football team."
Edwards said he met Tuesday night with Green after the veteran quarterback was cleared by specialists to return full-time to practice. He then huddled with Damon Huard, who kept the Chiefs in playoff contention by compiling a 5-3 record in eight starts, on Wednesday morning and apprised the longtime backup of his plan to return Green to the starting lineup.
"I'm thankful to Damon for the job he did for us," Edwards said. "After the first game [in which Green was injured], he had to come in and keep us alive, and he did that."
Edwards had suggested on Tuesday that he would withhold the identity of his starter, perhaps until Sunday, but noted Wednesday that he planned all along to go back to Green once he received medical clearance. Said Edwards of his earlier comments: "I do what I do for a reason. I know why I [said what I said], and there was a purpose. And it met its purpose, believe me."
Green has not played since suffering a head injury in the Sept. 10 season opener when hit by Cincinnati defensive end Robert Geathers, but has been getting light work in some practices over the past two weeks. The veteran suited up the past two games, but as the No. 3 "emergency" quarterback.
The decision to start Green, sources said, is still contingent upon him having no setbacks this week. Based on the prognosis from doctors, however, the Chiefs do not anticipate any problems.
Green had never missed a regular-season game since Kansas City acquired him in a trade from the St. Louis Rams in 2001.
Coming into the season, Huard had started just six games in his career, and none since 2000. He played well, though, in his eight starts, completing 134 of 221 passes for 1,684 yards, with 10 touchdown passes and just one interception. He registered a passer rating of over 100.0 in four starts, but struggled Sunday in a 13-10 loss to Miami.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.