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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Priest Holmes "Everything is on hold" until doctors decide

    [size=18px]Mike Finger: On reflection, Priest's career more complete [/size]

    Web Posted: 07/09/2006 12:00 AM CDT

    San Antonio Express-News


    Priest Holmes doesn't talk to his old teammate much. But more and more these days, there are moments when Ricky Williams is on his mind.

    A decade ago, who'd have thought they'd end up like this?

    Back when they shared a backfield at Texas, there were plenty of people who figured one of them would end up having to prove himself in Canada while the other reaped the rewards of a record-setting NFL career. It's just that everyone had it backwards.

    Holmes has been in a reflective mood lately, which can happen when you're dealing with a career-threatening neck injury. But even with his future uncertain, he smiles when he thinks about how things have changed.

    "Ricky and me, we took different paths," Holmes said Saturday at All-Sports gym, where he was helping kids register for next week's Football Camp with the Pros. "And the paths we took weren't necessarily the ones people thought we'd take."

    Now, Holmes wonders if those roads are about to diverge even further. While Williams — the enigmatic, underachieving former Heisman Trophy winner — attempts to rebuild his image and bounce back from a drug-related NFL suspension by playing in Canada, Holmes — the undrafted Marshall alum who made three Pro Bowls with the Kansas City Chiefs — is facing the possibility of retirement.

    Holmes, 32, said Saturday "everything is on hold" until doctors decide if his neck can withstand the rigors of a 10th NFL season. Although he appeared to be in good physical shape, he said he hasn't been able to work out and lift weights like he has in previous offseasons.

    From most players, such an admission would spell the all-but-certain end of a career. But from Holmes, the man who battled back from three knee injuries and a gruesome hip displacement, it was just an acknowledgement that he once again has some work to do.

    Sure, the Chiefs already have a viable alternative. Larry Johnson took over the starting job last year and has emerged as one of the league's most dangerous running backs. And unlike Williams, Holmes doesn't have much else to prove.

    But he still doesn't see his neck injury — which he suffered when hit helmet-to-helmet by San Diego's Shawne Merriman in October — as a reason to quit.

    "I know it sounds funny to say it, but I've had the luxury of being injured before," Holmes said. "Most people don't see that as a luxury. But at least I know what to expect."

    Even so, this injury is different, and Holmes knows it. His California spinal specialist, Robert Watkins, has warned him about the long-term effects of re-injuring his neck. And although Holmes joked about Watkins' hidden motives for keeping him off the field — "he's a USC grad, and he lost a (Rose Bowl) bet" — he's taking the doctor's words seriously.

    "It's not what it will do to me today," Holmes said of a possible recurrence of his neck problem. "It's what it will do when I'm 40 or 50."

    Holmes said he wants to play another two or three years, but he said the decision on his future ultimately belongs to Watkins. If the doctor determines taking the field is too big of a risk, Holmes said he won't fight to play.

    Holmes wouldn't be the first person in his family to end a career this year. His stepfather, Herman Morris, recently retired from Fort Sam Houston after serving in Iraq. Morris spends much of his time these days taking the grandchildren out on four-wheelers, and Holmes might be joining them soon.

    And if he does end up spending this fall hurtling down dirt roads instead of over linebackers, Holmes said he'll be at peace with how his career ended. When he was rehabilitating from injuries earlier in his career, he said he was always trying to make a name for himself, or live up to a new contract, or fulfill fans' expectations. This summer, he said, that's not the case.

    "I don't think anybody's going to feel like they got gypped," Holmes said. "I think I gave everybody their money's worth."

    Somehow, it's difficult to imagine those words coming from Williams.

    Different paths?

    Holmes knows which one was better. Even if his is coming to an end.

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    Mike Finger: On reflection, Priest's career more complete

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    digital420's Avatar
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    Re: Priest Holmes "Everything is on hold" until doctors decide

    neck injuries are nothing to joke about. I've seen hockey players try to come back from them and end up always worse.

    it's a decision that if it heals now it'll be somewhat annoying the rest of your life. if you keep playing.. the long term just gets worse.

    it'll come down to how much he luv's the game.. i don't think he's looking for hte $ end to come back .

    DiGiTaL

    "We tried to stick with it, but there was a point where we were beating our head against a wall," Seattle Coach Mora talking about running at the Williams Wall

  3. #3
    cogitans is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Priest Holmes "Everything is on hold" until doctors decide

    I think he might be doing the right thing in calling quits before he gets invalid. He has had his share of great performances.

    Did he enter the league as an UDFA at the Ravens by the way?

    Thanks to PPE for the sig.

  4. #4
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Priest Holmes "Everything is on hold" until doctors decide

    "cogitans" wrote:
    I think he might be doing the right thing in calling quits before he gets invalid. He has had his share of great performances.

    Did he enter the league as an UDFA at the Ravens by the way?

    You are correct he was undrafted, and then Baltimore drafted Jamal Lewis a few years later!
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  5. #5
    BadlandsVikings's Avatar
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    Re: Priest Holmes "Everything is on hold" until doctors decide

    If I was him I would'nt come back. One wrong hit and he could end up in a wheel chair.

  6. #6
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    Re: Priest Holmes "Everything is on hold" until doctors decide

    I agree. He has plenty of money to live on for the rest of his life and there are plenty of ways to be around football (announcing, coaching, etc.) Why be permanantly injured?
    We can solve poverty today.

  7. #7
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Priest Holmes "Everything is on hold" until doctors deci

    KFFL
    Chiefs | Holmes new day; same story – career remains on hold
    Sun, 9 Jul 2006 07:00:51 -0700

    Mike Finger, of the San Antonio Express-News, reports Kansas City Chiefs RB Priest Holmes (neck) said Saturday, July 8, "everything is on hold" until doctors decide if his neck can withstand the rigors of a 10th NFL season. Although he appeared to be in good physical shape, he said he hasn't been able to work out and lift weights like he has in previous offseasons. Holmes, who made three Pro Bowls with the Chiefs, is facing the possibility of retirement. From most players, such an admission would spell the all-but-certain end of a career. But from Holmes, the man who battled back from three knee injuries and a gruesome hip displacement, it was just an acknowledgement that he once again has some work to do. Holmes still doesn't see his neck injury as a reason to quit. "I know it sounds funny to say it, but I've had the luxury of being injured before," Holmes said. "Most people don't see that as a luxury. But at least I know what to expect." Holmes said he wants to play another two or three years, but he said the decision on his future ultimately belongs to California spinal Robert Watkins. If the doctor determines taking the field is too big of a risk, Holmes said he won't fight to play.

  8. #8
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Priest Holmes "Everything is on hold" until doctors deci

    KFFL
    Chiefs | Holmes awaiting test results; will go on PUP list
    Thu, 27 Jul 2006 19:08:48 -0700

    Adam Teicher, of the Kansas City Star, reports Kansas City Chiefs RB Priest Holmes (neck) had his latest evaluation with specialists in Los Angeles, and the Chiefs were waiting for the results. "They told us it would be no earlier than Monday," president/general manager Carl Peterson said. "They'll tell us what they think the situation is at this point." Holmes will go on the Physically Unable to Perform list before the first training-camp practice Friday afternoon, July 28. Holmes could be activated from that list if he is cleared to play. "It's very difficult to tell (whether Holmes will play)," Peterson said.

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