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Fouts and James Are Sidelined

October 21, 1986|MARC APPLEMAN | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Injuries have sidelined the Chargers' Big Guy and Little Guy.

Quarterback Dan Fouts will miss this week's game against the Philadelphia Eagles after suffering his second concussion in four games in a 42-42 loss to Kansas City Sunday and running back Lionel James will sidelined four to six weeks after spraining an ankle on the artificial turf in Arrowhead Stadium.

While James was on crutches in the Charger locker room Monday morning, Fouts was being released from Alvarado Hospital, where he spent Sunday night as a precaution.

Fouts was released Monday morning. He underwent a brain test in the afternoon and was told to spend the remainder of the week resting.

"He's totally stable," Charger team physician Dr. Lee Rice said. "He is suffering from post-concussion syndrome, which is normal."

Fouts suffered the concussion midway through the first quarter. He sat out a play and then finished the first half, completing 19 of 33 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown. Fouts, who has thrown 19 interceptions in his last six games, also threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.

After suffering headaches, Fouts sat out the second half.

"Dan is still disoriented to a certain degree," Charger trainer Mark Howard said Monday afternoon said. "That's an indication it was not just a bump on the head.

"When you get a slight concussion, that will affect your judgment. He started getting headaches. He's sort of just slow right now."

Howard and Rice were doubly concerned because Fouts suffered a concussion when he fractured his nose against the Raiders three weeks ago.

"Dan said the blow he had this week was worse," Rice said. "He hit his head on the AstroTurf."

Said Howard: "When you have one concussion a year, it's no big deal. Once you start getting them, you have to be a little more concerned. Head injuries are the one injury we have to be most concerned about."

There's more to the Chargers' injury report, however.

Wide receiver Wes Chandler, one of the 19 Chargers injured against the Chiefs, has sprained ligaments in his right foot and is doubtful for the Eagle game.

Chandler sprained his ankle on the second play Sunday when he stretched for extra yardage. It is an injury similar to the ones he had on his left foot during a mini-camp in 1983 and on his right foot in 1984.

When asked about playing against the Eagles, Chandler said: "There is no way. It hurts bad. I'm thinking about getting it to where I can walk."

To replace James and/or Chandler, assistant coach Al Saunders said the team will activate either running back Curtis Adams or wide receiver Timmie Ware, both on injured reserve. A decision will be made Wednesday, but Saunders said Adams would have been the choice if a decision had been made Monday.

Starting cornerback Donald Brown suffered a hip pointer and is questionable for the Eagle game.

Running back Gary Anderson (mild toe sprain and quad contusion), tight end Eric Sievers (sprained knee) and offensive lineman Ken Dallafior (minor concussion) are expected to play.

While most of the discussions Monday centered around who wouldn't face the Eagles, one player was getting psyched to face Buddy Ryan's team.

He is quarterback Mark Herrmann, who completed 18 of 32 passes with one touchdown directing the Chargers in the second half.

"It certainly gets you jacked up to know you're starting," said Herrmann, who started four games last season but had played only one series this year before Sunday. "I have all the confidence in the world.

"I think the guys have enough confidence in me. Hopefully, I've performed well enough that they respect my ability. I'm certainly not the leader Dan is. I'm not a big holler guy, but I feel when I have to get the job done, I can."

Rolf Benirschke wasn't wearing bandages or walking with crutches, but he also was suffering Monday.

He kept thinking about that kick.

With the Chargers trailing, 42-41, and 28 seconds remaining, Benirschke missed a 35-yard field-goal attempt from the right hash mark. The ball was wide.

"I've rekicked it 1,000 times in my mind," Benirschke said. "I wonder if you could have controlled the situation differently. The answer comes up no. You wouldn't have done it differently. You just would have made it."

But . . .

"If anything, maybe I was too conscious of not leaving it to the right," Benirschke said. "I came across the ball too much."

Benirschke has kicked his share of game-winners and said he doesn't blame his miss on nerves.

"Obviously you're nervous," he said. "You're keyed up. But I felt really confident over the ball. I couldn't believe I missed it. It's a kick I should make. I know it more than anyone."

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