Chiefs running back Johnson helped off field with injured ankle

Updated: November 4, 2007, 8:53 PM ET
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City running back Larry Johnson was helped off the field after injuring his right ankle in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 33-22 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Larry Johnson

Johnson

Johnson, the Chiefs' leading rusher, was injured midway through the fourth quarter when he caught a pass from Damon Huard and was dragged down from behind by Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk. Johnson caught his toe on the turf after getting his feet tangled with Hawk's, then grabbed at his right ankle.

He tried to put weight on the leg after the trainers looked at him, but had to get help to the bench. He later was taken to the locker room.

Team officials said Johnson had a sprained ankle and had no timetable for his return.

"Don't count Larry out just yet," Chiefs quarterback Damon Huard said. "I don't know what the deal is, or the situation, but certainly he is a big part of our offense and hopefully he'll get back."

Johnson leads the Chiefs with 559 yards and three touchdowns on 158 carries, overcoming a rough start to the season by getting 100 yards in three of the past four games. Though he struggled against Green Bay, managing 53 yards on 19 carries, he did score on a 1-yard dive at the end of the first half and caught a 30-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Asked about the prospect of playing without Johnson, Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez could only manage a grimace.

"It [the offense] probably wouldn't look as good," Gonzalez said. "Larry's one of the best running backs in the league, but we have to pick up the pieces."

If Johnson isn't able to go, the Chiefs at least can turn to Priest Holmes, who played his first home game since injuring his neck two years ago.

Holmes, a former Pro Bowler, injured his neck in 2005 on a vicious hit from San Diego's Shawne Merriman. He returned two weeks ago against Oakland, managing just four yards in nine carries, and had eight yards on three carries against the Packers.

Holmes has shown that he can carry the load before, having an incredible 4 year stretch from 2001-05, rushing for 5,933 yards and 76 TDs. His 83 total TDs also are a franchise best.

"Priest came in and did a nice job and he obviously has a lot experience," Huard said. "He's been the guy here before, so I would think if Larry's down, Priest would have to step up and get more carries."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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