The Baltimore Colts may have a manning problem at quarterback but in Miami there is so little confidence in the offense that the word there is, "If the Dolphins shut out the Colts on Sunday, they have a chance for a tie."

It was an allusion to Miami's 9-6 loss to Houston on Monday night.

Because Bert Jones suffered a bruise on the top of his throwing shoulder against Cincinnati on Sunday, the Colts considered bringing in Bill Kilmer, before signing Jerry Goldsteyn on Friday. Replacements are scarce with 260 National Football League players on the injured reserve list.

"It was close," Ernie Accorsi, the assistant general manager, said of the decision. "Kilmer (39) knows our system from having played for (Ted) Marchibroda in Washington, but hasn't played this year. Ted went for Goldsteyn (25) because he has played (with the New York Giants, San Francisco and Detroit). And we need a third quarterback for the future (behind Jones and Greg Landry)."

Kilmer has been living in the Dolphin's back yard, Fort Lauderdale.

Skinhead Garo Yepremian of the New Orleans Saints says of a $10,000 offer to try a hair transplant: "I'm thinking about it; the thing that bothers me is that there already are so many Elvis Presley look-alikes."

John McKay of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers figures to be good copy if they make the playoffs. Playing down that prospect now, he says, "I don't get excited about things. I've been at the top, on the bottom and somewhere in between. It is better on top, unless you have a long contract. I'm not going to jump up and down; I'm old and I have a bad knee."

Tex Schramm of the Dallas Cowboys says of an injury suit that recently reached the U.S. Supreme Court, "Even the colleges may be affected by the outcome." He notes that the nomenclature for penalties may have a bearing on cases, with such terms as "unnecessary roughness" . . . "unsportsmanlike conduct" . . . "spearing" . . . even the word "foul."

Wellington Mara of the New York Giants says, "We're so concerned that I sent my son John to law school."

The New York Jets feel they finally have recovered from John Riggins playing out his option and signing as a free agent with the Redskins. Under today's rules, the Jets would have received two No. 1 draft choices because of his annual $300,000 salary. Coach Walt Michaels says of the Jets' concentration on drafting, "We're trying to build with a solid foundation, brick by brick, not with prefabs."

In 108 regular-season starts, Cowboy Roger Staubach's record is 82-26. The victory over the Giants on Sunday was his 20th in the fourth quarter, and his 12th in the last two minutes. He's always "up" for the hurry-up offense.

Why the Baltimore Colts would like to have Bert Jones healthy for today's game in Miami: Since having a pass picked off by the Dolphins in 1973 he has thrown 199 times against them without an interception.