The New Jersey Generals announced today that quarterback Doug Flutie will not start against the Baltimore Stars in Monday night's first-round U.S. Football League playoff game.
Flutie, who broke his collarbone four weeks ago, had been practicing the last two days, but Coach Walt Michaels, in a surprising decision, told him today that backup Ron Reeves would be starting against the Stars at the Meadowlands (9 p.m.).
Flutie was cleared to practice Thursday and said he felt good. But a broken collarbone usually takes six weeks to heal, and Michaels was wary that Flutie might reinjure himself and miss the rest of the playoffs.
"We gave it a look and we think this is fair for the players and everybody," Michaels said. "You've got to play your hunches."
The Generals are 1-2 with Reeves at quarterback. In 3 1/2 half games, he has completed 36 of 71 passes for 461 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions.
Flutie had completed 134 of 228 passes for 2,109 yards, 13 touchdowns and 14 interceptions before he was injured in the first quarter of a victory over the Memphis Showboats. He also had rushed for 465 yards and six touchdowns.
Stallions 22, Gamblers 20: Danny Miller kicked five field goals, the last with two minutes left, as Birmingham defeated Houston in a first-round playoff game yesterday in Birmingham.
The Stallions (14-5) went ahead, 10-0, in the first half and held the lead until Houston (10-9) took a 17-16 lead in the third period on a 21-yard pass from Jim Kelly to Richard Johnson.
Birmingham made it 19-17 on Miller's fourth field goal, a USFL playoff record 57-yarder, late in the third period, but Houston's Toni Fritsch countered with a 46-yard field goal that put the Gamblers ahead, 20-19, in the final quarter.
Miller's winning kick came from 35 yards out. His five field goals tied a league record for most in one game.
The Gamblers started a final drive at their 10-yard line, but Fritsch missed a 49-yard field goal by one foot to the left on the game's final play.