KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Sept. 11, 2006) -- Trent Green sustained a "very, very severe concussion" when his head was slammed into the ground by Cincinnati's Robert Geathers and will be hospitalized at least until Tuesday, the Kansas City Chiefs said.
"He's feeling much better," Chiefs president Carl Peterson said. "But he has a very kind-sized headache. Hopefully he'll be able to go home tomorrow."
The two-time Pro bowl quarterback will be listed as questionable this week at Denver. Peterson said he didn't know when Green might return.
Losing Green for long could be devastating to the Chiefs. Starting at Denver will be journeyman Damon Huard, who until Sunday had not completed a pass in the NFL since Dec. 24, 2000. Behind Huard are rookies Brodie Croyle and Casey Printers, who were both unimpressive in the preseason.
"There's no question this will test the football team," Peterson said. "Trent Green has been a tremendous leader for us both on and off the field. We're anticipating that Trent will get through this and get well and be back with us. At this point, though, I wouldn't put any time on it."
Protected by an outstanding offensive line and surrounded by stars such as Priest Holmes and Tony Gonzalez, Green started 80 straight games from 2001-2005, while Kansas City gained more yards (30,470), scored more touchdowns (262) and rushed for more TDs (131) than any other team in the league.
Joining the Chiefs from St. Louis after surviving a career-threatening injury and undergoing four knee operations, Green's 20,117 yards passing and 111 touchdown from 2001-2005 were exceeded only by Peyton Manning.
"It will be a day-to-day, week-to-week evaluation by the doctors," said Peterson. "Thank goodness he had no problems with his limbs."
Meanwhile, talk continued over the hit that knocked Green unconscious in the third quarter of Cincinnati's 23-10 victory.
Green was going feet-first into a hook slide right in front of the Chiefs bench. Geathers, possibly pushed from behind at least somewhat by Kansas City wide receiver Eddie Kennison, came flying in. Geathers' right shoulder slammed Green's chest and head and snapped the back of Green's head violently to the turf.
Officials did not call a foul, explaining to the enraged Chiefs sideline that Geathers' momentum had carried him into the player.
"In my opinion, I think it was a late hit. I think it was obviously a very vicious hit," Peterson said, "one that unfortunately Trent Green and the Kansas City Chiefs are paying a price for."
Peterson said he had reviewed film of the play Monday with league officials.
"They're drawing their conclusion and will make their decision later in the week," he said.
Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer said that he had tried to call Green. When Palmer sustained a devastating knee injury last January, Green called him with advice and encouragement.
"Everything I've heard is good," Palmer said. "I heard that he regained consciousness in the locker room, and he's going to be OK."
Palmer also defended Geathers.
"Knowing Robert, he's not a guy who likes to take cheap shots or really ever does take cheap shots. He was trying to make a tackle, he kind of got (blocked) low, almost like he fell into him. When you're 280 pounds and you're falling into a quarterback, something bad's going to happen. There's nothing you can do in that situation."
Gonzalez said he didn't think it was a cheap shot. "He didn't hit him with his helmet," he added.
But Peterson, and many other Kansas City players, had a different view.
"I think the quarterback was trying to slide, which he's instructed to do. The minute he starts that, the defensive player is supposed to get off, to back off any type of hitting or touching the quarterback," he said.