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SPORTS WEEKEND | AROUND THE AFC / WEST

Quarterback's Injury Painful to Receivers

September 18, 1998

Bubby Brister or John Elway? Elway has been trying to recover from a hamstring pull and won't test his leg until later today, which means even if he starts, Brister might still play some, which ultimately might save Elway for better days ahead.

Wide receiver Rod Smith says Brister actually throws the ball harder than Elway, whose passes have been known to leave marks carved in the receivers' chests.

"That's me," Smith said. "That's just me. John can throw it hard, but there's a good firmness to the ball. Bubby has a little more firmness. There are just two different styles. I think John probably reads a defense a little bit better and throws the ball a little earlier so he doesn't have to throw it as hard."

Elvis Grbac continues to miss practice in Kansas City while waiting for his sore throwing shoulder to heal.

"I haven't thrown a football yet," said Grbac, replaced by Rich Gannon, now 5-2 as a starter for Grbac. "I threw a weighted ball, which might weigh a fourth of what a football does. It felt pretty good. . . . The pain wasn't as bad as it was two or three days ago."

Grbac has targeted Kansas City's game against Philadelphia in two weeks for his return, and arm or no arm, everyone wants a chance to play the Eagles these days.

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