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SI FOR KIDS
Six starting QBs sidelined
Injuries make first game costly for several NFL teams
Posted: Sunday September 06, 1998 10:20 PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- It was a bad day for quarterbacks Sunday as six were injured on opening day of the NFL season.
The worst injury was to New Orleans' Billy Joe Hobert, who was lost for the year with a torn right Achilles' tendon.
"He's a great kid," Mike Ditka said. "He's my kind of player. It's a big loss for him. I'll miss having him out there this year. We'll have to do the best we can."
Hobert was injured without contact, dropping back to pass on the artificial turf at St. Louis and crumpling.
Tennessee's Steve McNair bruised his right elbow when he was tackled on the Oilers' final play of the first half at Cincinnati. X-rays found no fracture, and the feeling returned to McNair's elbow in the second half.
But he chose to let backup Dave Krieg stay in the game because he was doing so well.
"Dave was in the zone," McNair said. "He was doing a great job moving the team up and down the field. It's a matter of doing what's right [for the team]. At that time, what was right was letting Dave stay in."
Tennessee started the second half with its backup quarterback taking snaps from the third-string center. Pro Bowl center Mark Stepnoski was out with an injured right knee and backup Erik Norgard sprained his right shoulder, leaving rookie Kevin Long to make the snaps.
Baltimore's new quarterback, Jim Harbaugh, left against Pittsburgh in second quarter with a slight fracture of his right ring finger. The injury apparently occurred when he hit the ground after a tackle by Carnell Lake.
Washington's Gus Frerotte left early in the third quarter at New York with a sprained left shoulder. He was hurt trying to make a tackle on Conrad Hamilton's interception return and then re-injured it when sacked minutes later by Keith Hamilton and Chad Bratzke.
Rob Johnson, making his first start for Buffalo, was knocked out of Sunday's game against San Diego after suffering a concussion on the Bills' first play of the second half. It's uncertain how long Johnson will be out.
Johnson was knocked to the turf by Norman Hand just after he released a pass to Andre Reed, which was incomplete. He lay on the field for nearly four minutes while being treated, and walked off on his own power. After being treated on the sideline, Johnson was taken into the locker room to receive stitches in his chin.
Johnson, a native of Southern California, was acquired from Jacksonville in February for the Bills' first- and fourth-round draft picks.
Trent Dilfer was Tampa Bay's lone bright spot in a loss at Minnesota until he was forced out late in the third quarter with a deep thigh bruise.
The Bucs also lost receiver Bert Emanuel with a sprained left ankle.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Ki-Jana Carter broke his left wrist and will be out eight to 12 weeks. Carter caught a 6-yard pass against Tennessee, then fell backward out of bounds untouched, landing awkwardly. He was taken off the field on a cart.
Baltimore's Rod Woodson, playing his first game against Pittsburgh, the team he starred with for nine years, left in the fourth quarter with back spasms. The Steelers lost cornerback Deshea Townsend and linebacker Earl Holmes, both with sprained right knees.
The Oilers lost defensive tackle Henry Ford (sprained right knee) and Pro Bowl safety Blaine Bishop (bruised hip). Then cornerback Steve Jackson left after hyperextending his right knee on a kick return.
Rams linebacker Eric Hill bruised his left hand in the second quarter. Jacksonville defensive end Jeff Lageman, strained his right bicep. Carolina lost wide receivers Rae Carruth to a foot sprain and Muhsin Muhammad to turf toe.
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