UNSAFE SAFETY: Denver Broncos free safety Steve Atwater suffered a strained muscle near his rib cage during Thursday's practice, and is uncertain for Sunday's game against Seattle.

Strong safety Dennis Smith already is sidelined with a sprained ankle.


Jeff George proved to Indianapolis Coach Ron Meyer he is the Colts' starting quarterback. Now he must prove it to the fans.

George was born in Indianapolis and was the pride of Warren Central High, leading it to consecutive state titles, a string that included a 28-game winning streak. But now he's part of a losing streak -- the Colts go into Sunday's game against Houston 0-2. George has a pulled abdominal muscle but expects to start.

"Trust me, he's going to be a great one," Meyer said.


Detroit signed defensive back Darren Carrington, 23, the Broncos' fifth-round draft choice in 1989.

Carrington was signed after the NFL imposed a lifetime suspension Thursday on Terry Taylor, Detroit's starting cornerback for the past two seasons, for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.


New England Patriots General Manager Patrick Sullivan says he will not tolerate behavior similar to what occurred this week when several players harassed a female reporter in the locker room.

Boston Herald reporter Lisa Olson and a Patriots official said that while she was interviewing one player Monday, five others came out of the shower made lewd suggestions to her.

"It was a very painful incident," Olson said. "I just want to do my job like every other reporter that covers this team."


Minnesota signed former Vikings linebacker Walker Lee Ashley and waived tackle Paul Blair. . . . The Rams signed former Notre Dame kicker John Carney to kick off for them Sunday against the Eagles because regular kicker Mike Lansford has a strained muscle in his right calf. Lansford still is expected to kick field goals and PATs on Sunday. . . . The Chargers signed Scott Schwedes, a free agent wide receiver from Virginia and the Miami Dolphins and placed wide receiver Ron Heard on injured reserve with a thigh injury.