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Beuerlein to Get Start Against Chargers

November 30, 2002|From Associated Press

Denver Bronco quarterback Steve Beuerlein will start Sunday against the San Diego Chargers because Brian Griese is still favoring his sprained left knee.

Coach Mike Shanahan hoped early in the week that Griese would be able to play. He decided to start Beuerlein after reviewing practice this week.

"After looking at practice yesterday, he can do some things but I hate to put him in that situation where he doesn't have full mobility and [not] be able to do the things that he needs to do," Shanahan said Friday. "We just studied the film and he was favoring it."

Shanahan said he will evaluate Griese during the weekend to determine if he will be healthy enough to be the No. 2 quarterback, or if Jarious Jackson will be the backup.

Shanahan said earlier in the week that Griese's availability would be a game-time decision, but he named Beuerlein the starter to give him more time to practice with the first-team offense.

Shanahan also said tight end Shannon Sharpe (dislocated elbow) continues to improve, but his status remains a game-time decision.

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Carolina Panther running back Lamar Smith, charged Thursday night with drunken driving, was put on paid leave by the team for the rest of the season.

Smith will paid because the team had no choice. Under league rules, the Panthers could not have released him because of his arrest.

Even if they could have waived Smith, they would have had to pay his weekly salary of $41,176 for each of the last five games.

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With their playoff hopes virtually gone, the Washington Redskins will have to play out the string without Jeremiah Trotter and possibly without Dan Wilkinson.

Middle linebacker Trotter, the team's leading tackler, tore a ligament in his right knee in Thursday's 27-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Trotter will have reconstructive surgery, which requires as much as six months of rehabilitation.

Defensive tackle Wilkinson has a partial tear in his right calf muscle, which usually means two to four weeks on the sidelines.

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Steve McNair sat out most of the Tennessee Titans' practice because of a rib injury, and Coach Jeff Fisher said his status for Sunday's game against the New York Giants would be a game-time decision. McNair tossed a few passes with a trainer, but Neil O'Donnell took most of the snaps.

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Charger wide receiver Curtis Conway didn't practice Friday and has been bothered by muscle spasms in his injured shoulder. Conway is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against Denver.

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Miami Dolphin free safety Brock Marion might be sidelined for Sunday's game at Buffalo because of back spasms.

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Shaun King has quietly replaced Rob Johnson as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' No. 2 quarterback. Coach Jon Gruden confirmed the promotion, although he had little to say about the change for Sunday night's game against the New Orleans Saints.

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