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NFL briefs

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 18, 2000

49ers DE okay after fall on head

ST. LOUIS -- San Francisco defensive end Junior Bryant was taken off the field on a stretcher after landing on his helmet on the artificial turf in Sunday's game against the Rams.

Bryant returned home on the team's charter after a CT scan at a hospital showed no neck fractures or neurological damage. An X-ray taken at the Trans World Dome had been inconclusive.

Bryant didn't move for a few moments after hitting the turf late in the third quarter. His head was immobilized and his legs and chest were strapped to the back board before he was removed.

After the game, coach Steve Mariucci said Bryant was feeling some pain in his neck, and he later was diagnosed with a neck strain.

"He's talking," Mariucci said. "He's moving his hands and feet and that sort of thing. So we've got our fingers crossed, but we're just waiting for more word."

Bryant was able to move his legs before leaving the field and waved to teammates as he was being wheeled off.

BROWN RETURNS: On the day Cleveland got its first home victory, an old friend came home, too.

Jim Brown was honored along with Cleveland's other Hall of Fame players during halftime ceremonies of the 23-20 victory over the Steelers.

It was Brown's first visit to Cleveland's new lakefront stadium since the Browns returned to the NFL after a three-year hiatus.

"It's a wonderful place," Brown said while standing on the sideline before the game. "It looks like it would have been a great place to play."

Considered by many to be the greatest running back ever, Brown, the leading rusher in Cleveland history, holds a special place in the hearts of fans.

However, when Cleveland welcomed its team back last year, No. 32 wasn't part of any of the festivities.

"I didn't want to come back until the time was right," Brown said. "I didn't feel like I wanted to come back and wander around."

BILLS: Tight end Jay Riemersma left the game against the Jets with a jammed knee. His status is unknown. ... Linebacker Corey Moore left the game with a sprained ankle.

BRONCOS: Terrell Davis was listed as questionable but still expected to start. However, during pregame warmups, the team decided his sprained left ankle wasn't ready for a game. "It got worse as warmups went on," coach Mike Shanahan said.

JAGUARS: Kicker Mike Hollis missed his first game in team history because of a bad back.

PACKERS: Center Frank Winters played in his 200th regular-season game but left midway through the second quarter with a sprained ankle. ... Running back Basil Mitchell was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. Defensive back Jason Moore was activated from the practice squad.

STEELERS: Running back Richard Huntley left with a hamstring injury in the first half against the Browns and didn't return.

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