So were the rest of his rejuvenated teammates.
STATS OF THE WEEK
•Colt outside linebacker Chip Banks had four sacks in Indianapolis's 14-3 victory over Cleveland on Sunday. Banks, who went up against the Browns' 330-pound right tackle, Freddie Childress, for most of the game, had just 4½ sacks in the previous 22 months.
•After losing to the Vikings 23-20 in overtime, the Packers are 6-23 at Lambeau Field in nonstrike games since 1986.
•With quarterback Jim Everett throwing four interceptions in a 40-7 loss to the Bills, the Rams have now committed a total of 16 turnovers while losing their last three season openers.
•The Chargers started their sixth quarterback, Bob Gagliano, in their last six season openers on Sunday against the Chiefs. They've lost all six games, with Kansas City winning 24-10.
THE STATE OF MONTANA
At first you just want to slap Joe Montana and tell him to snap out of it, to stop being such a me-first guy. But after a closer look, his protests over the 49ers' decision to put him on injured reserve—guaranteeing he won't play in the first four games—seem justified. Montana, who is still recovering from surgery he had last October to reattach a tendon to his throwing elbow, says team doctors had told him he could begin practicing this week and perhaps start the third game of the season, that the club had never mentioned to him the possibility of going on injured reserve and that the team officials who made the roster move had done so without watching him throw in the days preceding their Sept. 1 decision.
Montana was the only one of the six San Francisco players on injured reserve to accompany the team to New Jersey and watch from the sidelines as the Niners, quarterbacked by Steve Young and Steve Bono, opened the season on Sunday with a 31-14 victory over the Giants. Montana is determined not to disappear while he's on injured reserve. He wants to be the starting quarterback in the first game he is eligible to play, Oct. 4 against the Rams in San Francisco.
By the weekend Montana had accepted his injured-reserve status, which prohibits him from practicing with the team until the four weeks are up, but he remained anxious about whether his elbow would ever allow him to continue his career. "I know the elbow will be much better because of this," he said last Saturday. "But damn it, sometimes I'd rather just go out and throw, and if the darn thing tears off, it tears off."