"He's definitely burned some bridges," says quarterback Jack Trudeau. "Time will be needed to repair them. I just hope we don't make wholesale changes to accommodate Eric. We've won because we've gone in some directions that don't necessarily include Eric. If the coaches put three tight ends in and run Eric right, Eric left, Eric up the middle, I think we'll be going in the wrong direction, and you might have some unhappy guys."
Dickerson will be available for Sunday's game against the Broncos at the Hoosier Dome. "Our offense will be designed around winning," says Colt general manager Jim Irsay, "not around Eric."
Dickerson's nonguaranteed contract is heavily weighted toward the final two years of the deal. He will make a total of $3.8 million for the 1991 and '92 seasons and $6.2 million all told for '93 and '94. If Dickerson behaves, Indianapolis plans to keep him for the life of the contract.
FORFEIT THE SEASON
When Patriots coach Rod Rust convened practice on Oct. 10, his five best offensive players were missing, and none had football-related excuses. Tackle Bruce Armstrong and running backs John Stephens and Robert Perryman were in nearby Cambridge, answering questions posed by Philip Heymann, the special counsel investigating the sexual harassment of Boston Herald reporter Lisa Olson in the New England locker room last month. Wide receiver Hart Lee Dykes was in a Providence hospital after being beaten about the head and face in a brawl outside a nightclub early that morning. And the club's perennial bad boy, wide receiver Irving Fryar, had just been released from jail, after having been arrested in the same nightclub incident on a weapons possession charge.
Dykes and Fryar were leaving Club Shalimar in Providence at about 1:20 a.m. when Dykes got into a fracas with several club patrons and a bouncer from the club, William Earley, who allegedly struck Dykes in the eye with a crutch. Fryar, who was hit on the back of the head, went to his car and brought out a loaded gun, which, witnesses told police, he brandished at the crowd that had gathered outside the club. Earley was jailed on a felony assault charge. Fryar, who had a Massachusetts permit for the gun but not a Rhode Island license, was arraigned and will have a hearing in December on the weapons charge. "You have to wonder what the commitment is from these players," says New England general manager Pat Sullivan.
You have to wonder why the Patriots still have Fryar—he has been involved in numerous scrapes with the law during his seven-year career with New England—on their team. Then again, they wouldn't be the Patriots without him.
NO MORE HANDICAP
Former Cardinals quarterback Neil Lomax won't be eligible for the Senior PGA Tour until 2009, but he already has plans to play on it. "I'm serious," says the 31-year-old Lomax. "When I turn 50,1 want to give the tour a try." He'll do it with an artificial hip, implanted six months ago to replace an arthritic hip made worse by 359 career sacks. Already his handicap is down from a 10 to a six. "I can rotate my hips now, and I can walk 18 holes without carrying a bottle of aspirin," he says. "But the new hip hasn't cured my putting."
THE END ZONE
This one isn't for the faint of heart.