Green will start for the first time since suffering a severe concussion 10 weeks ago, replacing Huard at quarterback when the Chiefs (5-4) face the Oakland Raiders (2-7) on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Coach Herm Edwards announced Wednesday that Green will start after the two-time Pro Bowler was given medical clearance to resume full contact.
After being out of game action for two months, he’ll play two games in four days. Kansas City hosts Denver on Thanksgiving Day.
“I think he’s going to play well,” Edwards said. “I told him he doesn’t have to put this team on his shoulders by any stretch of the imagination. We still have to play the type of football we’re capable of playing. We’ve got to be able to run the ball. We’ve got to be a balanced offense. I told him just go out and have fun playing quarterback.”
A head-snapping hit by Cincinnati’s Robert Geathers knocked Green unconscious Sept. 10, but he’s slowly worked his way back. Initially, he could not even drive a car, but several weeks ago was allowed to resume limited practice.
Huard, the career backup who stepped in and kept the Chiefs in the playoff hunt by going 5-3 as the starter, will return to the bench. Huard completed 146 of 241 passes for 1,824 yards and had 11 touchdown passes to only one interception. His 97.6 rating is third in the AFC and fifth in the NFL.
Huard, though, was just 15-of-38 for 201 yards in a 13-10 loss at Miami on Sunday.
Wide receiver Eddie Kennison said Edwards made no announcement to the team about Green’s return, but that Green simply lined up with the first team when practice began Wednesday.
“I don’t think he missed a beat. It looked like he went to sleep one day and woke up the next day and was ready to go,” Kennison said. “I don’t think he missed a beat at all.”
Edwards’ decision comes at a pivotal time for Kansas City, which trails Denver and San Diego by two games in the AFC West and may be resigned to playing for a wild-card spot.
Green will be trying to lead the Chiefs to their seventh straight win over the Raiders. Oakland’s last victory over Kansas City was 24-0 on Dec. 28, 2002.
Green, whose passing totals the past five years were topped only by Peyton Manning, steps into a somewhat unenviable situation. Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City’s leading receiver, is expected to be sidelined with a sprained left shoulder, and the offensive line is a patchwork of backups.
Walter took shots at coordinator Tom Walsh’s schemes after Sunday’s 17-13 loss to the Broncos, saying there is not enough “depth” in the playbook, the offense was too predictable, and that the team needed to utilize more quick-developing plays than five- and seven-step drops.
That didn’t sit well with Shell, who has defended Walsh all season long from criticisms that he is out of touch after being away from the NFL for more than a decade.
Shell said Walter’s comments wouldn’t play into the decision about who would start at quarterback Sunday, but he appears ready to give the job back to Brooks.
“I’m going to take a hard look at it and see where we are with him,” Shell said of Brooks. “He’s been throwing the last couple of weeks. I thought last week he threw the ball a whole lot better. … I think he’s very close. We’ll see how he goes.”
Brooks began the season as the starter before straining a pectoral muscle in the first quarter of the second game. The injury took longer to heal than the Raiders originally thought, giving Walter an extensive opportunity to prove he was ready to be an NFL starter.
Brooks returned to practice two weeks ago and said Monday he’s ready to play in games as soon as the coaches give him the go-ahead.
Walter has been inconsistent, completing 48.1 percent of his passes and throwing three touchdowns and nine interceptions. He has also lost seven fumbles and been sacked 40 times.
Brooks, who was just 6-for-14 for 68 yards before getting hurt, said the problems on the NFL’s worst offense are more about execution than play-calling. Brooks, who’s made 84 starts, said he believed he gives the team a better opportunity to win than the inexperienced Walter does.
“I think we have a greater chance,” Brooks said. “I possess some skills that with my experience gives us a greater chance.”
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