HOUSTON (AP) - Larry Johnson missing most of camp because of a
25-day holdout, so many expect the Kansas City Chiefs' star runner
to be limited in tomorrow's opener against the Texans in Houston.
The Texans aren't among that group. Texans coach Gary Kubiak
says he expects Johnson to carry as many times as he usually does.
Johnson set an NFL single-season record with 416 carries last
year, but had just three carries in exhibition play.
His return will certainly add power to an offense with career
backup Damon Huard at the helm, and which scored just two
touchdowns in a winless preseason.
Kansas City coach Herm Edwards has said Johnson will be "on a
little bit of a leash" at first. But Johnson assures that he's
ready to play. He worked out in Arizona during the contract
dispute, and he says a benefit of missing camp is having fresh legs
going into the regular season, and that he's ready to play.
Facing Johnson will be a test for a Texans defense that hopes to
improve this season with the coming of age of last year's top draft
pick, Mario Williams, and the addition of 2007 first-rounder tackle
Williams had 47 tackles and 4½ sacks while dealing with a
painful foot problem in a disappointing rookie season.