Doctors in St. Louis said yesterday that Cardinal quarterback Jim Hart merely bruised his knee in Sunday's loss to Miami and could play again in 10 days to three weeks.

Tests showed no cartilage or ligament damage and no need for surgery, which doctors had feared could incapacitate the veteran quarterback for half the season.

The Cardinals are expected to continue using rookie Neil Lomax of Portland State as their quarterback. Lomax replaced Hart Sunday and completed 14 of 30 passes for 151 yards with one interception and no touchdowns.

Doctors said Hart could need at least 10 days for the pain and swelling to diminish. After that, they said, he could return to the field whenever his knee felt comfortable enough.

Hart, long considered one of the NFL's most durable quarterbacks, was injured in the first quarter of the Cardinals' 20-7 loss.

The Green Bay Packers have lost starting running back Eddie Lee Ivery for the season. Ivery hurt his left knee after gaining 72 yards in the 16-9 opening victory over the Chicago Bears and is scheduled for surgery today.

Ivery hurt the same knee in 1979 in his first game as a rookie, also against the Bears in Chicago, and missed the rest of that year. He came back last season and rushed for 481 yards.

Dallas outside linebacker Mike Hegman will be out four to six weeks with a fractured right forearm. Guy Brown will replace him.

Cornerback Dave Brown, the only player to start every game in the Seattle Seahawks' history, broke a small bone in his right leg in the Cincinnati game and will miss about six weeks.

In Oakland, Raider officials said receiver Bob Chandler had had his spleen removed. He was injured in Sunday's 9-7 loss in Denver and will be lost indefinitely. Hit in the abdomen during the third quarter, he later became nauseous and was taken to a hospital.

The New England Patriots hope to have holdout fullback Sam Cunningham signed and suited up for practice by tomorrow -- if they can persuade him to drop agent Howard Slusher's demand that he be paid in event of an NFL player strike next year. That's the only thing, the Patriots' front office said, in the way of a two-year contract with the team's No. 2 career rusher.

The San Francisco 49ers said they were "very interested" in signing former Pittsburgh kicker Matt Bahr, and that Bahr was flying in for a tryout and discussions with the club.

Regular kicker Ray Wersching pulled a muscle in his leg Sunday during warmups for the Detroit game. The team physician said it was not known how long Wersching would be inactive.