Four starting quarterbacks were injured this weekend [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] exhibition tuneups for Sunday's start of the National Football League's regular season, and at least two of them will miss the openers.
Bert Jones of Baltimore, Green Bay's David Whiteburst, and Ken Anderson of Cincinnati were all felled Saturday night, joining Miami's Bob Griese, who was injured Friday.
Anderson suffered a broken metatarsal bone in the middle finger of his right hand against Green Bay and will be out for at least four weeks. The seven-year veteran was the league's top-rated passer in both 1975 and 1976. Anderson's 1977 backup, six-year veteran John Reaves, will fill in.
Whitehurst sustained a mildly dislocated left shoulder but is expected to start in the Packers' opener against Detroit. The second-year quarterback started in Green Bay's final four games last season.
"I had that happen to my right shoulder in college, but I played the next week, although I was limited," Whitehurst said. Former starter Lynn Dickey, who suffered a broken leg last season, would be Whitehurst's replacement.
The injuries to Griese and Jones could seriously affect the playoff race in what has become the league's best division, the American Football Conference East. The Colts and Dolphins, along with New England, were expected to duplicate last year's tight race in which the three finished one game apart.
Griese, the NFL's top-rated passer last season, suffered a torn ligament in his left knee against Tampa Bay Friday night and will miss at least half the season. His leg will be in a cast for three weeks. After that, the team will determine whether he can play or must undergo surgery.
Griese missed nine games with a broken leg in 1972 but came back to lead the Dolphins to the AFC championship and a Super Bowl triumph over the Washington Redskins.
Don Strock, described in the Dolphin brochure as "a clipboard quarterback for five years," will replace Griese. Strock threw only four passes last season.
No estimate has been offered on the time Jones might be; idled with his incomplete separation of the right shoulder. "Tuesday or Wednesday we will know whether Bert can play against Dallas (next Monday)," Colt Coach Ted Marchibroda said. "If he can't play, then we'll go with Bill Troup."
Troup also sustained a shoulder injury in Saturday's contest against Detroit. Should both he and Jones be unable to play, the Colts would open the campaign with third-year pro Mike Kirkland.
The Colts have a tough first three games, opening at Dallas, hosting Miami and then playing at New England.
This weekend's juarterback carnage nearly duplicates the ninth weekend of the 1977 season, when Minnesota' Fran Trakenton, Dickey, and San Diego's James Harris and Bill Munson all were injured.
CHICAGO BEARS - Asked waivers on tight and Bob Moore and Chuck Bradley, guard Fred Dean, linebacker Dewey Mitchell and wide receiver Jack Steptoe.
LOS ANGELES RAMS - Traded rookie defensive tackle Stan Johnson to the Kansas City Chiefs for an undisclosed draft choice.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - Announced that veteran fight end Jim Thaxton had been traded to St. Louis for an undisclosed future draft choice and that their top two draft choices last year, defensive tackle Mike Fultz and defensive end Joe Campbell, may miss the opening game of the season with fractured hand.