KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Larry Johnson spent Monday undergoing treatment and tests on his injured right foot amid fears Kansas City's Pro Bowl running back could be sidelined for an extended period.
The Chiefs said Johnson sustained a mid-foot sprain when he was tackled from behind after a short gain in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 33-22 loss to Green Bay. He was helped off the field by two trainers and was unable to put any weight on the foot.
The fifth-year back, who set an NFL record last season with 416 carries, has been off to a slow start after missing camp before signing a six-year, $45 million contract.
His absence could be a blow to what is already one of the league's feeblest offenses. It would also elevate Priest Holmes, the former Pro Bowler who has resurrected his career after missing almost two full seasons with a spinal injury.
"They're running some more tests," coach Herm Edwards said late Monday afternoon. "(Johnson) came in to get treatment, but they took an MRI and they're still studying it. We won't know for sure until probably (Tuesday) sometime exactly what the severity is and if he's going to be out, and if so, how long."
Holmes had four touches on Sunday for 16 yards as the Chiefs (4-4) remained tied with San Diego in the AFC West. The 34-year-old former Pro Bowler has had only seven carries for 17 yards since he returned three weeks ago, capping a remarkable and entirely unexpected comeback from a career-threatening spinal injury in October 2005.
|Trainers gather around an injured Larry Johnson. (US Presswire)|
"I don't see Priest carrying the ball more than 15 times," Edwards said. "Kolby's going to have to carry it some. He's played more football this year, counting the preseason, than Priest has. You don't want to wear Priest out."
The Chiefs would prefer to have one featured back.
"We've got to do it by committee a little bit," Edwards said. "If we've got to do it that way, we've got to do it that way. You'd like to have a mainstay who you know can carry it 20 times and give the other guy the extras. I don't know if Kolby can carry it 20 times. Who knows?"
Consistency is what's often missing when runners share the load, Edwards said.
"It's the consistency of the runner. He's real familiar with how the line is going to block things and the line is familiar with how he's going to run. It all works together. Certain runners run certain ways. The linemen know where he's going to be on certain runs. And the runner gets a good feel for the blocking in front of him."
Kolby was drafted to be Johnson's backup.