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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : RAMS : Gary to Start Ahead of Bettis

September 24, 1993|T.J. SIMERS

Coach Chuck Knox announced Thursday that Cleveland Gary will be the team's starting running back against the Oilers in Houston on Sunday.

Why Gary and not Jerome Bettis?

"He's had the experience and he's well," Knox said.

Bettis, who started last week against the Giants because Gary had a sore thigh, continues to be bothered by a bruised sternum which makes it difficult for him to breathe.

"That's a consideration," Knox said in returning Gary to the starting lineup. "But that's not the No. 1 thing. . . . The other thing is Cleveland will be our nickel back.

"Bettis is going to play, obviously," Knox said. "He's still got a little soreness there, but not enough to keep him out."

Bettis leads the team in rushing with 30 carries for 133 yards for an average gain of 4.4 yards. Gary has carried the ball 27 times for 61 yards, a 2.3-yard average.

"I'm not 100%," Bettis said. "If they want to keep going for the long haul, then I need to slow it down and not run through every snap."

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James Lofton received work in practice, but Knox said he will go into the game this week as the team's No. 5 wide receiver.

"He would be a guy we would spot in there and use on very specific routes," Knox said.

Ernie Jones will work as the team's No. 3 receiver behind Flipper Anderson and Henry Ellard; rookie Sean LaChapelle is the No. 4 receiver.

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