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SPORTS WEEKEND | NFL DAILY REPORT / AROUND THE LEAGUE

Raiders' George Improving

November 06, 1998|Associated Press

Jeff George practiced with the first-string offense for the second straight day Thursday. He reported no problems with his healing groin muscle, but his return as Oakland Raiders quarterback this weekend remained uncertain.

George has not played since injuring his groin in the first quarter of the Oct. 4 game at Arizona, and is hoping to return for Sunday's game at Baltimore.

"Jeff took a lot of snaps. He looked better," Coach Jon Gruden said. "We're not ready to name a starter until we observe him for a couple of days."

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Doctors found an unspecified growth on the base of the skull of Indianapolis Colt fullback Craig Heyward.

Heyward, 32, had complained of blurred vision in his right eye Wednesday and underwent an MRI later that night. On Thursday, the 5-foot-11, 260-pound Heyward took a battery of tests with a neurologist and ophthalmologist.

"We're hopeful everything will turn out all right," Colt President Bill Polian said.

Polian said he hopes to know more about Heyward's condition by Monday.

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St. Louis Coach Dick Vermeil criticized assistant coach Wilbert Montgomery for telling Chicago radio listeners that some Ram players lack heart.

The running backs' coach was a guest on the radio show "The Score" Tuesday and said: "On our team we have a lot of guys that don't have a lot of heart."

When Montgomery was asked if many of the Rams had "football smarts" Montgomery said: "To tell you the truth, when you're talking about 53 guys out there, you're roughly speaking about 10 or 12 guys."

Thursday, Vermeil expressed his disappointment with the comments: "I think he used bad judgment if he said something like that. But Wilbert's the kind of guy . . . [who's] going to say what he actually feels. And that doesn't always represent how I feel or the other coaches feel or the organization."

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The Philadelphia Eagles signed free safety Brian Dawkins to a contract extension that keeps him with the team through 2003. Financial terms were not disclosed. . . . Buffalo Bill offensive lineman John Fina will be out Sunday against the Jets after aggravating an abdominal injury. He will be replaced by 340-pound rookie Robert Hicks.

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