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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE NFL : Young to Start for 49ers in Opener

September 03, 1993|Associated Press

Steve Young's broken left thumb has healed faster than expected, and he will be the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday's opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Pittsburgh.

"Given all the information that we have from the doctors and the player himself, it seemed to be a reasonable decision to make," Coach George Seifert said. "I don't think we're putting the player at dramatic risk."

Young fractured the thumb of his passing hand in an Aug. 8 exhibition against the Raiders and was expected to take four to six weeks to heal.

Third-stringer Bill Musgrave, who had been expected to start, will back up Young. The regular backup, Steve Bono, is expected to be sidelined at least three more weeks after separating his left shoulder last month during an exhibition game against the Denver Broncos.

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Quarterback Stan Humphries had a sharp practice and should be able to start the season opener Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, Coach Bobby Ross said.

Humphries bruised his throwing shoulder in last Saturday's 30-14 exhibition loss at San Francisco. When he couldn't throw during team drills Wednesday, Ross said Humphries' chances of playing Sunday were questionable.

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The Cleveland Browns hired Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown as a part-time consultant, making him an employee of the team for the first time since he retired abruptly at age 29 after the 1965 season. Brown, 57, has been an actor, movie producer, businessman and counselor to troubled youths since leaving football. . . . Dallas wide receiver Jimmy Smith developed complications following an appendectomy and will miss the season. Smith had his appendix removed on Aug. 24 and suffered post-surgical infection and complications. Smith had been competing with Kelvin Martin for the No. 3 wide receiver spot. . . . The Miami Dolphins said running back Mark Higgs will be the starter for their season opener against Indianapolis. Terry Kirby will be the backup.

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