Rob Johnson, not Doug Flutie, will be the starting quarterback when the Bills face the Titans Saturday in the AFC playoffs. Coach Wade Phillips announced the change yesterday, a day after Johnson played well in a 31-6 victory over the Colts.
Johnson completed 24 of 32 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns without an interception in his only start of the season. Flutie had been the starter all year and led the Bills to 10 wins. He had faced criticism in Buffalo for inconsistent play in recent weeks.
"My feeling is with either one of them we can win," Phillips said. "It was a tough decision. It wasn't a haphazard thing."
BOSELLI OUT: Jaguars Pro Bowl T Tony Boselli has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and will miss the playoffs. Boselli went down without contact on a running play Sunday in the third quarter of a 24-7 victory over the Bengals. An MRI exam revealed the torn ligament. The normal recovery period is about seven months.
OTHER INJURIES: The Colts might have lost LB Cornelius Bennett for the playoffs with a torn ligament in his left knee. "It doesn't look like Cornelius Bennett will be available for any more playing time this year," Coach Jim Mora said. . . .
Panthers QB Steve Beuerlein is lining up four surgeries: a hernia operation followed by procedures on his knee, ankle and shoulder. "It is the price that we pay," said Beuerlein, who this season became one of 11 players in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in a season. . . .
Broncos QB Chris Miller surrendered to a career-long plague of concussions and retired.
CHARGED: Dolphins RB Cecil Collins was charged formally with one count of burglary in the break-in last month of a neighbor's apartment.
Collins, 23, allegedly broke into the apartment of Tina Nolte, 28, a married woman he had met in the complex's gym and tried to date.
He is charged with burglary of a dwelling in a stealthy manner, a second-degree felony, said Ron Ishoy, a spokesman for the state attorney's office.