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Matthews to Start for Bears Against Browns

November 03, 2001

With Jim Miller's hip still giving him trouble, Chicago Bear Coach Dick Jauron picked Shane Matthews to start at quarterback for his team's game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Miller, who took half the snaps in Friday's practice, will be available as the primary backup, Jauron said. He was limited to light workouts Wednesday and Thursday after being sidelined because of a hip pointer in the first half of last week's game against San Francisco.

"I wouldn't put a percentage on Jimmy's health, but we anticipate he'll be ready to be No. 2," Jauron said.

Against the 49ers, Matthews came off the bench to go 25 for 31 for 166 yards and three touchdowns, leading Chicago to an overtime win.

Matthews started the Bears' opening-week loss to Baltimore but hurt a muscle near his rib cage against Minnesota in the second game.

The Bears are 7-7 in games Matthews has started over the last three seasons. "We're confident in Shane; we've seen him do it before," Jauron said.

The Jacksonville Jaguars suspended defensive lineman Larry Smith for one game after witnesses said he punched center Jeff Smith after a practice.

Three players who were in the locker room after practice Wednesday said they saw Larry Smith punch Jeff Smith while he was getting dressed. The center was bleeding after he took the hit and needed several stitches on his face, said the players, who asked not to be identified.

The Jaguars announced Larry Smith's suspension Thursday, but Coach Tom Coughlin said only that it was for violating team rules.


Emmitt Smith, nursing a sprained right knee ligament, missed practice for the third time this week and said it's doubtful he'll play in the Dallas Cowboys' game against the New York Giants on Sunday.

"It don't look good," Smith said. "I haven't practiced all week."

Cowboy Coach Dave Campo said Smith, second on the NFL's career list with 15,564 yards rushing, worked with trainers on his own Friday. Campo said whether the running back will play Sunday will be a game-time decision. He injured his knee in the final minute of Sunday's 17-3 victory over Arizona.

If Smith plays, Troy Hambrick will start at fullback for the second consecutive game in place of injured Robert Thomas, who is on injured-reserve with torn ankle ligaments. If Smith sits out or plays sparingly, Hambrick will get another start as the team's main running back.


The New England Patriots claimed cornerback Ben Kelly off waivers from Miami and put second-year offensive tackle Adrian Klemm on injured reserve because of a leg injury.

Kelly, 23, in his second season out of Colorado, appeared in two games for the Dolphins this season and was credited with one tackle before being waived.

Klemm, 24, was the team's second-round draft choice out of Hawaii in 2000. He played in five games as a rookie but has not played this season.


Washington Redskin rookie cornerback Fred Smoot practiced for the second consecutive day and was upgraded from questionable to probable for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Smoot, who leads the team with three interceptions, has missed the last two games because of a sprained knee and bruised lower leg. Darrell Green has started in Smoot's place.

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