Playing only when the Seahawks used a nickel defense, Keith Millard made his first regular-season appearance since injuring his right knee on Sept. 30, 1990. He had a sack, a fumble recovery and a deflected pass against the Bengals, who nevertheless won the game 21-3. "I feel as good as I ever felt," Millard said afterward. Cincinnati quarterback Boomer Esiason was impressed with Millard, saying, "This is definitely not some beat-up retread. This is a hell of a player."
...Speaking of the Bengals, with 6:04 left in Sam Wyche's coaching debut with the Bucs—a 23-7 victory over the Cardinals at Tampa Stadium—he called for a timeout, and referee Gordon McCarter announced to the crowd, "Timeout, Cincinnati."
...Get ready for the fallout from the off-season ouster of instant replay. In Week 1 Oiler wideout Ernest Givins was credited with a TD catch against the Steelers even though one of his feet came down on the end line; and on the Jets' first play from scrimmage, a fumble that was recovered by New York was mistakenly ruled Atlanta's ball. The Falcons scored on the next play en route to a 20-17 win....
When William Perry ended his holdout last week and weighed in at 316 pounds, the Bears were genuinely stunned by the turnaround in his conditioning. One club source says the Refrigerator weighed as much as 390 last December and looked every pound of it. In the off-season Chicago had figured him for a hopelessly obese person who would never play football again. "I had absolutely erased him from my mind," says Bear defensive coordinator Vince Tobin. But last week Chicago signed Perry to a unique contract that will pay him a base salary of $400,000, with the potential of earning another $350,000 if he meets a complicated system of weight clauses....
Deion Sanders's decision to stay with the Braves through the postseason and report to the Falcons in time for their Nov. 1 game with the Rams apparently wasn't cast in concrete. Last week his agent, Eugene Parker, spoke with the Falcons four times in the course of two days, trying to thaw out negotiations and get the two-sport star on the football field sooner than later. At least one of Sanders's football teammates, center Jamie Dukes, prodded the Falcon management after the Atlanta secondary was shredded for 366 yards by new Jet quarterback Browning Nagle on Sunday. "Get [Deion] in here no matter what," Dukes said after the Falcons' 20-17 victory. "Quit fooling around with nickels and dimes."
GAME OF THE WEEK
Eagles at Cardinals, Sunday. A year ago, on the afternoon of Sept. 13, the temperature in Phoenix reached 98°. Apparently heat doesn't bother the Cards. When Phoenix and Chicago met in a preseason game on Aug. 15, it was 138° on the field for a 5 p.m. kickoff at Sun Devil Stadium. "Believe it or not, there was a nice little breeze for that Bear game," Phoenix tackle Luis Sharpe says. "It wasn't as hot as you'd think." Sounds like the Cards have a pretty good home field advantage.
THE END ZONE
With South Florida still digging out from the devastation left by Hurricane Andrew, the Dolphin-Pat game scheduled for Sunday at Joe Robbie Stadium was postponed until Oct. 18. Some of Miami's offensive linemen spent Sunday in ravaged Homestead, Fla., where they got into a pickup game in the middle of one of the tent cities set up for homeless victims of the disaster. On one play, 6'6", 298-pound quarterback Richmond Webb threw a rubber football to 6'2", 308-pound wideout Gene Williams, who, running at nearly top speed, was tackled on the open sand by 5'9", 160-pound Lance Corporal Erik Griffin of the 2nd Maintenance Battalion from Camp Lejeune, N.C. "My high school coach taught me if you wrap them up around the knees," Griffin said, "you'll drop them every time."
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