Quarterback Steve Bono, hobbled by a sprained left knee, yesterday was declared out of the San Francisco 49ers' final regular-season game Monday night against the Chicago Bears.
Steve Young, who finished last Saturday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs for the injured Bono, is expected to start.
However, Young remains somewhat gimpy. His play in a relief role during the final quarter and a half of the team's 28-14 win over the Chiefs was his first action since he tore left knee ligaments Nov. 3.
The 49ers' third quarterback is rookie Bill Musgrave, who has not played a down this season.
Bono, 5-1 as starter, was injured when he took a hit after an incomplete pass midway through the third period of the Chiefs game.
The knee has been immobilized in a cast. Initially, Bono was given a 50-50 chance of being healthy enough to play in the Monday night game, but team officials apparently were not satisfied that the injury had healed sufficiently.
Meanwhile, Bill Walsh said he was flattered by an invitation trejoin the 49ers organization but has no plans to do so.
"I'm happy doing what I'm doing," said Walsh, now a network broadcaster. "I'm under contract to NBC, and I don't expect to be leaving."
Walsh coached the 49ers from 1979-88, stepping aside in January 1989 after leading the 49ers to their third Super Bowl victory in his 10-year tenure.
He was replaced by George Seifert. Walsh stayed on briefly as vice president in charge of player personnel before joining NBC as an NFL analyst.
Rumors surfaced earlier this week that the team wanted Walsh back as a personnel consultant. Club president Carmen Policy confirmed the organization's interest, saying there was "fire where there was smoke."
The 49ers (9-6) will miss the playoffs for the first time in nine years and have made some questionable personnel decisions in the past two drafts and Plan B.
* BILLS: Wide receiver James Lofton, listed as questionable for Sunday's season finale against the Lions, hopes to resume practicing by the end of the week.
Lofton, who sprained his right foot in last week's 35-7 win over the Colts, said the injury isn't as painful as it was earlier in the week. "It's a sprain . . . something that will take a little time."
He said he still doesn't know whether he'll play against Detroit.
"I couldn't give a definitive answer: yes it will be ready, or it will be ready to this extent. If it's possible, I'll certainly be out there playing," Lofton said.
* Former Baltimore Colts quarterback Art Schlichter is deciding whether he wants to play for the newest franchise in the World League of American Football.
Peter Hadhazy, general manager of the Ohio Glory, confirmed that he has spoken with Schlichter about playing for the franchise beginning in March.
"When he makes up his mind, he'll call me and then he'll probably petition the WLAF if he wants to play," Hadhazy said.
Schlichter is suspended from the NFL because of his gambling habits. The NFL owners are the main financial backers of the WLAF.
The Glory picks first in the WLAF draft in February.
* CHIEFS: Running back Harvey Williams is scheduled tundergo surgery today on a bone below his left eye, which he injured Saturday.
Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer said Williams will be out of Sunday's game, but could recover in time to play in a playoff game against the Raiders in two weeks.
"Harvey will spend the night in the hospital and be home on Friday," Schottenheimer said. "He is definitely out for this week, but according to the doctors there will be a chance he could be available for the playoff game."
* BENGALS: General manager Mike Brown said he has no timetable for deciding whether to keep coach Sam Wyche, whose team has lost a franchise-record 13 games this season.
"We have not set a date or time for the announcement of anything," Brown said. "Sam and I will be meeting next week, but it's not something I expect we'll wrap up in one day. When we have something to tell you, we'll tell you."
Brown has promised off-season changes, but has declined to discuss them in advance.
Wyche has two years left on his contract, under which he would be paid $1 million.
* PACKERS: A suit filed on behalf of the Boys and Girls Club oLa Crosse (Wis.) claims offensive lineman Tony Mandarich failed to show up to speak at the club's Wall of Fame Dinner and kept the $500 he was given as a down payment for his appearance.
The suit, filed this week in La Crosse County Circuit Court, seeks the $500, plus interest since the April 9 dinner and legal fees.