Eric Dickerson will miss at least the first six games of the season after the Indianapolis Colts placed him on one of the NFL's many reserve lists yesterday. The action will cost Dickerson nearly $600,000.

General Manager Jim Irsay also suspended the running back for four weeks of that period and fined him an additional week's pay. That will cost him seven of the season's 17 pay weeks based on his $1.45 million salary.

Irsay said the penalties are for conduct detrimental to the team, including Dickerson's many refusals to take the team's required physical.

Dickerson, who has remained out of camp while recovering from an offseason hamstring injury, could begin practicing with the team after four weeks. However, he must sit out at least six games because he was placed on the non-football-related injury list, which requires a player to miss six weeks and forfeit his pay for the period.

Irsay said the action does not mark the end of Dickerson's career with the Colts.

"He cannot be traded," Irsay said. "And by the time he's eligible to come back, the trade deadline will have passed."


Coach Bill Parcells is optimistic Mark Bavaro will start the season opener against the Eagles. Bavaro, recovering from knee surgery, hasn't missed practice in 10 days. The tight end played 17 plays against the Jets last week and should see more action Saturday against the Browns in the preseason finale.

General Manager George Young and holdout Lawrence Taylor's agent, Joe Courrege, negotiated most of yesterday. Talks will continue today and a resolution appears imminent. Ditto for defensive end Leonard Marshall.


Coach Bruce Coslet said he will start quarterback Tony Eason in tonight's preseason finale at Tampa Bay because "it's Tony's turn to start."

There is one huge reason to think Eason also will get the regular season nod -- all he has shown this preseason is the ability to move the team better than Ken O'Brien.


Two days after being traded by the Jets, wide receiver Reggie Rembert signed with the Bengals, ending his holdout.


Atlanta, which drew fewer than 10,000 fans for its final home game last year, already is approaching sellouts for its first three this season. The Falcons had two sellouts last year and have sold out only one opener in seven seasons, against Washington in 1987.

Also, Atlanta placed linebacker Galand Thaxton on injured reserve.


Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the substance abuse case of tight end Clarence Kay remains under review, and Kay still could receive a lifetime ban.

Kay, a seven-year veteran, has failed two drug tests. He was convicted June 27 of driving while impaired in Edgewater, Colo., in connection with an incident in September. The DWI conviction could constitute a third strike under the NFL's drug policy, which brings a lifetime suspension.

Kay met with the commissioner on July 23 to discuss his case. A week later Kay was arrested in a domestic disturbance at the home of his former girlfriend in Denver and charged with trespassing, destruction of private property and disturbing the peace.

Yesterday Tagliabue said league officials are awaiting information from Kay's attorney before issuing a decision.


St. Louis traded tight end Rob Awalt, who was expected to start, to the Cowboys for an undisclosed draft pick. The Cardinals also claimed defensive end Elston Ridgle off waivers after he was released Tuesday by the Seahawks.


Holdout nose tackle Jerry Ball lashed out at management for its unwillingness to renegotiate his contract. Detroit did come to a contract agreement with Jimmy Williams, who led NFL linebackers in interceptions last year.