KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Trent Green looked sharp and ready Friday in his first practice of the week and will start on Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs play Oakland, coach Dick Vermeil said.

Vermeil had expressed concern on Thursday that Green might not be ready by Sunday. Services for Green’s father, who died suddenly on Oct. 27, were Wednesday and Green did not get back until Thursday evening.

“He wants to play,” Vermeil said. “I trust him because I know how unselfish he is. If he didn’t think he could step in and run our game plan, he would tell me. As you saw on the practice field today, he’s very sharp. He knows what he’s doing.”

Green played against San Diego last week and threw for a season-high 347 yards, most of it in the second half.

“I think it’s important to play,” Green said. “No. 1, that’s what my dad would want me to do, just like last week he would have wanted me to play. It would be good for my family to try to get back to some normalcy and hopefully provide a little bit of escape while the game’s going on for all of them.”

The news up and down the Chiefs’ injury-weakened roster was not so good just two days before their AFC rematch with the Raiders.

Pro Bowl left tackle and star running back Priest Holmes missed practice and may not be available Sunday. Cornerback Patrick Surtain, nursing an injured left knee, did not work out and may not be ready.

Left tackle Willie Roaf has aggravated a hamstring injury that sidelined him for almost four games earlier in the season. Adding to his run of bad luck, he was involved in a multi-car accident on Interstate-435 in suburban Kansas City on Friday morning.

Vermeil said Roaf was not injured.

“He’s home. He’s fine, and he’s been checked out by the doctor,” Vermeil said. “It shook him up.”

Vermeil described Roaf’s status for Sunday as “doubtful. Very doubtful. It has nothing to do with the auto accident. It has everything to do with the hamstring problem.”

Holmes, a three-time Pro Bowler, was traveling back from California where he underwent an examination by a neurological specialist. He sustained head trauma in the loss last week at San Diego and has not practiced all week. Vermeil said he was doubtful for Sunday.

“We’ll know (Saturday) morning, see where he is,” Vermeil said. “Could be a backup role or anything like that. Right now, Larry (Johnson) is prepared to play.”

Surtain’s status may not be known until game time. Also doubtful is backup cornerback Dexter McCleon.

That could leave the Chiefs (4-3) particularly vulnerable in the defensive secondary. Backup safety Jerome Woods has already been declared out.

“I feel very confident we can play,” Vermeil said. “I go through these concerns all week because we can’t practice like we normally practice. But when we line up and play Sunday I’ll expect the people on the field to line up and play well enough to win.”

The offense was limited the first four games this year without Roaf.

“There are some guys, if they tried all their life to pull a hamstring they couldn’t do it. He is so explosive. When he unloads or pulls, there’s just an explosive move through his whole body which puts a tremendous pressure on a hamstring, let alone a hamstring that’s been pulled. The MRI shows he hasn’t re-pulled it. But whether he can play on Sunday, it’s very doubtful.”

AP-ES-11-04-05 1739EST


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