Injury might end Esiason's streak of starts at 37

October 24, 1991

Boomer Esiason doesn't expect to be able to quarterback the Cincinnati Bengals when they play the Houston Oilers on Sunday, and if he's right, his string of consecutive starts would end at 37.

Esiason suffered a slight separation of his left shoulder in Monday night's loss to the Buffalo Bills.

'I'd like to think I'd be back in a few days but, realistically, no. . . . If it was anything else, I'd be in there," Esiason said.

"If it was my other shoulder, I'd definitely be playing this week. But because it's my throwing arm, I have to be really careful."

Esiason is listed as doubtful in the Bengals' injury report to the league.

Backup Erik Wilhelm completed nine of 13 passes for 80 yards against the Bills.

It will be Wilhelm's first regular-season start in three seasons.

* GIANTS: Matt Bahr's thigh injury is much worse than originally thought, and there's a chance the place-kicker will miss Sunday's game against the Redskins.

Bahr, who has made two game-winning field goals for the Giants this season and hit 16 of 20 field-goal attempts, tested his right leg by kicking about a dozen balls in yesterday's practice, but the results were not very encouraging.

The Giants have scheduled a tryout for former kicker Raul Allegre for today, the New York Daily News reported.

* BRONCOS: Running back Gaston Green continued to be hobbled by a strained thigh muscle during yesterday's practice, increasing the likelihood that Bobby Humphrey will be activated for Sunday's game.

Green, who ranks fourth in the AFC in rushing with 554 yards, sat out last week's 19-16 victory over the Chiefs with a strained thigh muscle.

Asked about Green's condition, Coach Dan Reeves said: "Terrible, he couldn't run. I don't know if he'll be ready or not. It keeps bothering him."

Humphrey, a two-time 1,000-yard rusher, ended his 97-day holdout a week ago.

* DOLPHINS: Fans responding to a TeleHerald poll appear somewhat apologetic about jeering Sammie Smith after his fumble at Oilers' 1-yard line Sunday, and they are almost evenly split about whether they would give Smith the ball again in the same situation.

Nearly 1,500 phone calls were logged in the seven hours TeleHerald was open for comment on Smith's Sunday fumble, which occurred with three minutes left in the game and Houston leading, 17-13.

Smith, upset by profane fan reaction to his goal-line fumbles, has said he may request a trade after the season.

* STEELERS: Running back Tim Worley is seeking help in an alcohol-related counseling center, his agent said.

Worley, who was arrested for drunken driving on Sept. 25, reported to the counseling center this week after the Steelers helped him locate the program.

Worley's agent, Jerry Albano, said his client wants to "straighten his mind out."

* 49ERS: Tight end Brent Jones returned to practice for the first time since tearing knee ligaments six weeks ago. He is expected to miss one more game before being activated.

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