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THE NFL / 1996

Seau Spurs Chargers to Winning Conclusion

AFC:Linebacker's play despite injuries helps San Diego end season with 16-10 victory over Broncos.

December 23, 1996|From Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Linebacker Junior Seau broke his left hand in the first quarter. He sprained his right knee in the second, laying on the ground for several minutes before he was assisted off the field.

A few plays later he was back in, recovering his second fumble of the game that helped the San Diego Chargers defeat the playoff-bound Denver Broncos, 16-10, Sunday night. He then limped over the stands and gave the ball to a fan.

Seau could have turned it down a notch or two because the Chargers are out of the playoffs two years after reaching the Super Bowl.

Seau set up San Diego's first 10 points with his fumble recoveries. He also had three deflections.

The Chargers finished 8-8, avoiding their first losing record in five seasons under Coach Bobby Ross, who is under contract through 1999, but wouldn't say if he would be back next year. Ross said he will meet with General Manager Bobby Beathard this week and discuss his future.

The Broncos (13-3) tried to keep everyone healthy for the playoffs, but reserve quarterback Bill Musgrave sustained a dislocated right shoulder when he was leveled by Seau in the third quarter.

John Elway was pulled after 20 plays, but not before he fumbled on a sack by Vernon Edwards, with Seau recovering.

Denver running back Terrell Davis likely wrapped up his first NFL rushing title, gaining 21 yards on nine carries for a total of 1,538 yards on 345 carries.

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