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Fouts Feeling Fine, Says He's Ready to Play : But Saunders Waits, Will Pick Chargers' Starter on Friday

November 13, 1986|CHRIS COBBS | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Dan Fouts is feeling fine and would like to play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, but, as of Wednesday afternoon, Tom Flick was still listed as the starter by Coach Al Saunders.

A final decision won't be made until Friday, but Fouts said he would like to be the man if he receives medical clearance.

Fouts, who hasn't played since receiving his second concussion of the season in a game at Kansas City Oct. 19, took an active part in Wednesday's practice and said he was satisfied with his passing.

"I feel pretty good and I think I had a pretty good workout," Fouts said after participating in seven-on-seven drills.

Fouts left no doubt about his desire to resume his career--or his expectations for the San Diego offense.

He said it is taken for granted that a football player is always taking a gamble with his health, but that doesn't diminish his appetite for the game.

"There is something missing from my life when I'm not playing," Fouts said. "When I'm healthy, playing football is what I like to do best (in life). I'm looking forward to playing again and I hope it's this Sunday."

Asked if he believed the Charger offense could return to its former level as the league's No. 1 passing attack, Fouts said, "There's no doubt in my mind."

Apparently, there aren't any cobwebs or other abnormalities, either. The headaches that beset him for two weeks have disappeared.

"I feel 100% now," Fouts said. "Both my concussions were mild, in the true sense of the word. I've met with neurologists and had tests done, and they were all negative. I have recovered to the point where there are no more symptoms and I feel ready to roll."

Saunders, however, is being cautious.

He said Fouts was sent in early from practice Wednesday because he was "pooped and a little bit lightheaded."

Saunders also said Fouts would be the starter Sunday if he is able to handle all of his assigned practice work Thursday and Friday.

As an indication that Fouts is progressing, the Chargers waived Bruce Mathison, who had been carried for the last two weeks as protection in the event of injury to Flick.

Flick took over in the fourth quarter at Philadelphia Oct. 26 when Mark Herrmann, the No. 2 quarterback, received a concussion. Herrmann hasn't played since and isn't as close to being ready as Fouts, according to Saunders.

"We don't need four quarterbacks on our active roster," Saunders said. "We could always bring Bruce back if we had the need.

"I see the (progress by Fouts) as encouraging, a positive step, a welcome addition."

The game plan for the Cowboys was worked out Monday and Tuesday, but it can and will be adjusted Friday once the quarterback starter is determined, according to Saunders.

"Obviously there would be more available to us if Dan plays," Saunders said. "If Tom is the starter, we will make adjustments. It's easier to delete than add late in the week."

The Chargers also moved to bolster their thin supply of linebackers by picking up Angelo Snipes, who was waived Tuesday by the Washington Redskins.

Snipes, who played for the Oakland Invaders when Charger defensive coordinator Ron Lynn was coaching there, will be used in passing situations and also on special teams.

"With Woody Lowe and Andy Hawkins injured, we needed some manpower at linebacker and for our kicking game," Saunders said.

Lowe is expected to play against Dallas, but Hawkins remains questionable with a hamstring injury.

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