Chris Chandler will replace Vinny Testaverde as Tampa Bay's starting quarterback against Detroit Sunday.
The 1986 Heisman Trophy winner limped off the field with a sprained toe on Sunday and watched Chandler pump life into a listless offense that is one of the reasons the Buccaneers have started 0-4. Chandler rallied the Buccaneers before they fell to Buffalo, 17-10.
Tampa Bay coach Richard Williamson said Chandler earned the start with his strong second-half performance. He added the decision was facilitated by Testaverde's turf-toe injury, which is not considered serious.
* GIANTS: Jeff Hostetler is the starting quarterback, and that is not going to change in the foreseeable future, coach Ray Handley said.
Hostetler, the late-season hero of the Giants' run to a Super Bowl victory, has come under increasing criticism this season as New York has gotten off to a 2-2 start, scoring 59 points in four games.
Even in Giants Stadium, people are booing the offense.
One local tabloid ran a banner headline yesterday declaring that it was time for Handley to give the quarterback job back to Phil Simms, the longtime starter who lost the job to Hostetler in training camp.
Handley said that wasn't going to happen, but he also said Hostetler is not playing up to par.
"I would like him to play better than he did yesterday," the first-year head coach said at a news conference in reviewing the Giants' 13-10 win over the Cleveland Browns. "I would like him to play better than he did in the Rams game [a 19-13 loss].
"This is not an indictment of him," Handley added. "There are other people I'd like to play better too. But everyone wants to focus on the quarterback."
* BROWNS: Coach Bill Belichick declined to explain why receiver Reggie Langhorne was not with the team for the game against the New York Giants.
Langhorne refused to practice last Thursday and asked Belichick to trade him because he was not getting enough playing time. A starter since 1986, Langhorne lost his starting job this season after missing the first part of training camp in a contract dispute.
Belichick reportedly declined Langhorne's request for a trade, then told him he would be one of the Browns' two inactive players for the Giants game Sunday. Langhorne did not make the trip to East Rutherford, N.J.
"He just wasn't active for the game," Belichick said yesterday. "I'm not making any predictions or promises on next week. We'll pTC see where we are then. We'll do whatever we think is best for the team."
* 49ERS: Quarterback Joe Montana was examined by team doctors and may start throwing as soon as Friday. Montana hasn't thrown a football since Aug. 13 because of the torn right elbow tendon.
Concerned about the possibility of aggravating the injury, coach George Seifert said he may have Montana wait until Monday to start throwing. Once he starts throwing, Montana likely would be about two weeks away from returning to active duty.