Wade Wilson, who last started an NFL game in 1996 with the Dallas Cowboys, will start another Sunday with the Oakland Raiders against the Buffalo Bills.
Wilson turns 40 in two months and is five years older than Oakland Coach Jon Gruden, but Gruden decided to start Wilson after learning that the bruise on Donald Hollas' left--non-throwing--wrist was too sore and hadn't had time to heal.
"That's part of it," Gruden said. "Part of it is, Wade Wilson is a veteran quarterback who has been in big games on the road and in cold weather."
Hollis threw six interceptions in a losing effort against Miami last Sunday. He won't play unless Wilson is injured, Gruden said.
Wilson has started 66 games in 16 seasons and this season has completed nine of 19 passes for 143 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
The NFL players' union says the Cincinnati Bengals cannot fine punter Lee Johnson after having released him. Bengal owner Mike Brown said he plans to make the $20,588 fine--a game's salary--stick.
"A fine is a disciplinary measure," said Richard Berthelsen, the general counsel for the union. "You discipline someone to try and make sure they're a better employee in the future. How can you do that if you've fired them?"
Berthelsen said an arbitrator ruled last year in favor of linebacker Kevin Greene and against the Carolina Panthers in a case the union says set a precedent. The Panthers fined Greene daily during a holdout that lasted all of the 1997 training camp and then tried to collect the fine after releasing him.
The Bengals cut Johnson, a 14-year veteran, on Monday and then said he would be fined for conduct detrimental to the team. Johnson was released a day after he criticized the front office and said changes must be made if the Bengals are to become a winning team.
The Philadelphia Eagles put running back Charlie Garner on injured reserve because of broken ribs he suffered Nov. 22 against the New York Giants. Garner was expected to replace Ricky Watters as the Eagles' primary running back this season after Watters signed with the Seattle Seahawks.
Garner, however, has gained only 381 yards in 96 carries.
Tight end Ben Coates of the New England Patriots was acquitted of assaulting a former girlfriend in Wrentham, Mass. Jennifer Marshall, 27, the mother of one of Coates' children, had claimed in court that he pushed her to the pavement and then slammed her head on the hood of a car outside his condominium. Coates said he acted in self-defense.
Coates, however, could miss Sunday's game against the Rams in St. Louis to attend his mother's funeral. Coates's mother, Mozzella, 56, died of a brain tumor in Greenwood, S.C., on Wednesday.