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Holmes hangs it up

** FILE ** Kansas City Chiefs running back Priest Holmes runs against the Oakland Raiders in the fourth quarter of their NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., in this Oct. 21, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
AP | AP

KANSAS CITY, Mo. ” Priest Holmes retired Wednesday, ending a short comeback hailed as one of the most improbable in NFL history.

The 34-year-old three-time Pro Bowl running back was injured in Kansas City’s loss to Indianapolis on Sunday. He was out of football for 22 months after sustaining head and neck injuries in a game in October 2005. But he showed up in the Chiefs’ training camp in July saying he had seen himself in a dream playing football.

Working hard to get back in shape, he started the last two games in place of Larry Johnson, who will be out again this week with a foot injury. Kolby Smith, a rookie who has only a few carries this year, will likely start for the Chiefs (4-6) against Oakland.

The team announced Holmes’ retirement in a statement before a planned news conference.

Holmes is the Chiefs’ all-time rushing leader with 6,070 yards and accumulated 8,172 yards rushing in 11 seasons with Baltimore and Kansas City.

“I have truly been blessed with the opportunity to play in the National Football League,” he said. “I will be forever grateful to the Hunt family and the Chiefs organization for the opportunity to come to Kansas City, where the community embraced me from Day 1.”

Holmes was the 2002 Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 1,615 yards in just 14 games in 2002. In one season, he set a then-NFL record with 27 touchdowns. The mark has since been broken twice.


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