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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : NFC

Torretta Signed as 49er Backup

November 16, 1996|Associated Press

With Steve Young unable to play Sunday after a succession of concussions, the San Francisco 49ers signed quarterback Gino Torretta Friday, and Young's agent, Leigh Steinberg, said he and his client plan to "take a serious look" at what can be done about the head injuries.

Steinberg, saying that earlier reports that he and Young are considering retirement were incorrect, said the two of them would discuss several options, including a special helmet.

"I hope that he can play longer. He hopes that he can play longer. We just have to take a serious look at it," Steinberg said.

The concussion Young suffered last Sunday against Dallas was his second in three weeks.

The 49ers waived guard Tim Hanshaw to make room for Torretta, who will serve as the inactive, or emergency, quarterback in Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens. Elvis Grbac will start, with Jeff Brohm the backup.

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Kerry Collins' bruised collar bone is healing slower than expected, so the Carolina Panthers will start Steve Beuerlein at quarterback Sunday at St. Louis.

Coach Dom Capers announced the switch after Friday's practice, when Collins once again was unable to throw because of continuing soreness in his right shoulder. Collins injured the shoulder against the New York Giants Sunday and has been unable to do any significant passing in practices this week.

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Christian Peter, spurned by the New England Patriots, has had to undergo psychological and alcohol-abuse counseling and meet other rigid standards, but the New York Giants have decided to give him a second chance and plan to sign him before the season ends.

But the Giants, according to the Star-Ledger of Newark, said that the former Nebraska defensive tackle with a sexual-assault record will continue his rehabilitation rather than play this year.

Peter, of Middletown, N.J., was released by the Patriots in late April, just days after he was drafted.

Since meeting with Giants officials in May, Peter has been immersed in a comprehensive rehabilitation program. Peter reportedly also is attending Fairleigh Dickinson, where he is working toward a degree in hotel and restaurant management.

"I've learned a lot about myself," Peter told the Star-Ledger. "I have had to come to terms with the fact that I'm an alcoholic. That really came as a shock to me. The only times I've ever been in trouble is when I was drunk."

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Washington Redskin owner Jack Kent Cooke, hospitalized since Monday because of a degenerative arthritis condition, was released from Georgetown University Medical Center.

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