The best and worst from yesterday's games:


Shoulder Injury Sidelines Marino

Miami's Dan Marino left the game against the Patriots after two series because of a shoulder injury yesterday.

Marino, who complained of an injured right shoulder during the week, completed his first pass for eight yards to go over 60,000 yards for his career. He now has 60,001.

But on his second throw, he was hit by Lawyer Milloy and Patriots linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer returned the interception 57 yards for a touchdown.

On the next series, Marino tried a short pass that fell well short of the intended receiver.

"I thought I might be able to start," said Marino, who will have an MRI exam today. "But when I warmed up, I was throwing change-ups. Usually I throw fastballs, but today I was throwing changeups."

Damon Huard replaced Marino and the Dolphins went on to a 31-30 win.

Parcells Benches Mirer

At least for the time being, Rick Mirer's tenure as the Jets' starting quarterback ended with his benching by Coach Bill Parcells.

Parcells hinted during the week he might make a change. Mirer was slow to learn the offense and was coming off a weak performance last Monday night against Jacksonville. Yesterday against the Colts, he was replaced by Ray Lucas, who was making his first NFL start, and demoted to third string behind punter Tom Tupa.

Lucas, in his third NFL season, generally has played on special teams. His late interception set up a 27-yard Colts field goal, and the Jets lost, 16-13.

Banged-Up QBs

It was a tough day all around for quarterbacks.

The Jaguars' Mark Brunell left the game against the Browns in the third quarter with bruised ribs.

"He had difficulty twisting and turning and throwing the ball," said Jacksonville Coach Tom Coughlin, whose team has a bye next week. "So we made the decision not to put him in." ...

The Lions' Charlie Batch bruised his right arm and did not return for the second half against the Vikings. Former Redskins quarterback Gus Frerotte started the second half and completed 15 of 24 passes for 140 yards in Detroit's 25-23 win. ...

The Cardinals' Jake Plummer broke a finger on his right hand in the second half and was replaced by Dave Brown in Arizona's 24-10 loss to the Redskins.



Obscene gestures directed at the Superdome crowd yesterday by Saints Coach Mike Ditka. Fans booed after a botched play near the end of the first half and Ditka directed a gesture at them as he left the field. Following the Saints' 24-21 loss, Ditka answered the crowd's boos with another obscene gesture. "I don't appreciate that," Ditka said of the booing.


Career pass attempts before yesterday by Jay Fiedler, a fourth-year veteran from Dartmouth who was pressed into duty after Jaguars starter Mark Brunell was injured. Fielder completed 12 of 14 passes for 113 yards and scrambled for 27 yards as Jacksonville beat Cleveland.