Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Ernest Dye, who nearly had his right arm amputated after his car rolled over, will never play professional football again, team officials said yesterday.
Officials said Dye's arm, crushed in an automobile accident Monday that also injured two of his teammates, will likely never heal sufficiently to allow him to return for his sixth year in the NFL.
"There's just no way he'll be back," one team official, who asked that his name not be used, said. "No way."
Dye, 28, was in serious condition at Flagstaff (Ariz.) Medical Center following surgery to his arm. A team of doctors worked to fix bones between his shoulder and elbow and performed plastic surgery to repair nerve, tissue and blood vessel damage.
Dye, signed as a free agent this year for his second stint with the Cardinals, was reported to have a pulse in his arm yesterday -- meaning blood was flowing to it. Doctors also successfully treated Dye for blood and air in his chest and pulmonary contusions, the team said.
Dye and two other Cardinals players were hurt Monday morning as they made their way back to training camp in Flagstaff for a team meeting, officials said.
Guard Lester Holmes, 29, sustained a large cut on his forehead and was expected to be released late yesterday afternoon from the Flagstaff hospital. Defensive lineman Carl Simpson, 29, was released Monday after injuring his left hip.
RAVENS: Baltimore signed quarterback Stoney Case to a one-year, $400,000 contract and promised him ample opportunity to move up from No. 4 on the depth chart.
Case, 29, was cut last week by the Indianapolis Colts. He went through his first practice with the Ravens yesterday, working behind Scott Mitchell, Tony Banks and Wally Richardson.
Case was pursued by several teams, but found the rebuilding Ravens to be a perfect fit.
Case was drafted in the third round of the 1995 draft by the Cardinals. He has played in four games, starting one, and has not thrown a pass in an NFL game since 1997.
EAGLES: Philadelphia released kicker Chris Boniol and signed veteran Norm Johnson to a two-year contract.
Johnson, 39, played the past four years with Pittsburgh. The 18-year veteran enters the 1999 season having made an NFL-record 276 consecutive extra-point attempts, and is sixth on the NFL's all-time scoring list with 1,657 points.
In 15 games with the Steelers last year, Johnson hit 26 of 31 field goal attempts as well as all 21 of his extra-point attempts.
DOLPHINS: Dimitrius Underwood, the first-round draft pick from Michigan State who left the Minnesota Vikings training camp and was later released, was arrested and briefly held on a warrant over a parking ticket, campus police in Lansing, Mich., said. Underwood paid a $150 fine and was released from the city jail. Miami claimed the defensive lineman off waivers Monday, although team officials said they weren't sure if he would play this season.
BILLS: Bruce Smith, Andre Reed and Thurman Thomas, who did not play at Seattle, will play in Friday's game at Washington, Coach Wade Phillips said. Injured running back Antowain Smith (groin) also should be ready to play.
COLTS: Indianapolis signed running back Vaughn Hebron, a member of Denver's Super Bowl championship teams the past two years and a former star at Virginia Tech.