PLACED ON WAIVERS: At his own request, by the Washington Redskins, quarterback JOE THEISMANN, 36, who led the Redskins to Super Bowls in 1983 and 1984 and was the NFL's MVP in 1983. In 12 seasons with Washington, Theismann completed 2,044 of 3,602 passes for 25,206 yards, all team records, and threw for 160 touchdowns. By being placed on the waived-failed physical list, Theismann, who suffered a career-ending compound fracture of his right leg during a win over the New York Giants last Nov. 18, will collect $65,000 from the Redskins, or any other team that claims him, for injury protection. He will also have his medical bills paid by a player insurance plan for one year. In addition, Theismann increased his chances to collect on a $1.4 million insurance policy with Lloyd's of London that covers a career-ending injury.
RETIRED: Running back BILLY SIMS, 30, the Detroit Lions' alltime leading rusher, who had not played since mid-1984 because of an injured right knee. Sims, who won the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma in 1978 and was a three-time, All-Pro selection with the Lions, gained 5,106 yards in five seasons (1980-84) and scored 47 touchdowns.
DIED: JAMES BRAXTON, 37, a former Buffalo Bills fullback whose crunching lead blocks helped to open holes for O.J. Simpson in the 1970s; of cancer; in Buffalo.
Ted Lyons, 85, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, who pitched 21 years for the Chicago White Sox; in Sulphur, La. From 1923 to 1946, Lyons, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955, had a 260-230 record for White Sox teams that perennially languished in the second division. He pitched a no-hitter against Boston in 1926.