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AROUND THE NFC

BEARS: The stats were so lopsided it seems hard to believe Chicago lost 21-16. The Bears had 22 first downs to just eight for Detroit, 402 yards total offense to 232 for the Lions, and held the ball 36:36 to just 23:24 for the hosts. . . . Tight end Chris Gedney suffered a broken left fibula in the third quarter. . . . Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers will have their jersey numbers _ 51 and 40, respectively _ retired during halftime ceremonies next Monday against Green Bay. Coach Dave Wannstedt said backup running back Tim Worley's absence from the game was "a little bit more than missing an airplane," the reason given Sunday. Neither the Bears nor Worley's wife, Becky, knew where Worley was until Sunday afternoon, when he finally showed at home. He met Monday with Wannstedt, who said, "There are some personal issues involved. . . . (When) it gets resolved, hopefully in the next day or two, then I'll comment further."

CARDINALS: Receiver Gary Clark had three catches in a 28-21 loss to the Cowboys, lifting his career total to 629, two shy of Raymond Berry at No. 10. . . . The crowd of 71,023 in Sun Devil Stadium was the fourth-largest in Cardinals franchise history. Two of the three larger crowds were attracted by the Cowboys.

COWBOYS: Dallas' win over Arizona was its sixth straight regular-season road win, one short of a team record set in 1968. It was also the Cowboys' 11th win in a row in the NFC East. . . . Former coach Tom Landry celebrated his 70th birthday Sunday at Texas Stadium with about 2,000 people, including former Cowboys greats Roger Staubach, Bob Lilly and Tony Dorsett. . . . Owner Jerry Jones is pushing a plan to expand Texas Stadium to 104,000 seats by 1999, adding a retractable roof and replacing the artificial turf with grass. The project would cost $130-million to $140-million, he said. Offensive lineman Erik Williams sustained a broken rib, facial cuts, a torn ligament in his left thumb and a sprained right knee in a one-car wreck that will keep him out at least four to six weeks. The Pro Bowler had plastic surgery for the cuts early Monday and was held overnight.

EAGLES: Rookie running back Charlie Garner has been bothered by a broken rib under his collarbone, but still has managed to run for 290 yards in three games.

FALCONS: Andre Rison didn't play the first quarter of a 30-17 loss to the Raiders because he missed a team bus. "It was an internal thing," coach June Jones said. "He missed the bus, so I told him he wasn't going to start." But Atlanta was successful without Rison, scoring 10 points on its two possessions before he entered the game early in the second period.

GIANTS: On the second-to-last play of a 10-6 loss to the Steelers, linebacker Carlton Bailey was hit in the head so hard by two Steelers offensive linemen that he momentarily wasn't sure where he was. He suffered a concussion. "I don't remember a lot of what happened. In fact all I remember about the situation is the Steelers quarterback kneeling down to end the game. It was weird."

LIONS: In the 21-16 win over the Bears, Mel Gray moved into first place on the NFL career kickoff return yardage list with 7,092 yards in nine seasons. Ron Smith (1965-74) had 6,922 yards. . . . Right outside linebacker Tracy Scroggins, upgraded to starter last week when Pat Swilling was benched, made two tackles and was credited with one assist. Scroggins and Swilling were on the field at the same time for much of the second quarter when left outside linebacker Broderick Thomas was shaken up.

49ERS: San Francisco, known for its smooth and sedate manner, has suddenly gotten feisty, and that's fine with coach George Seifert. He said he was pleased by the spunk shown by aggressive moves, one of which got linebacker Gary Plummer and Bucs tight end Tyji Armstrong ejected from the 49ers' 41-16 win. "I don't want us to be too choir-boyish," Seifert said. "We don't want our players to necessarily wilt or wither and to take every punch that's thrown at them."

PACKERS: Green Bay next plays Oct. 31 at Chicago, where it has lost seven of its past nine, the most recent defeat a 30-17 loss Dec. 5, 1993.

RAMS: Jessie Hester's first reception of the game in the fourth period of a 37-34 loss to the Saints extended his reception streak to 70 consecutive games. Offensive line coach Jim Erkenbeck sustained a concussion when he was knocked down on the sideline by Saints safety J.J. McCleskey.

REDSKINS: Gus Frerotte's 226 yards passing was the most ever by a Washington rookie in his debut, topping the 154 yards Al Dorow had on Oct. 24, 1954. Frerotte's 17 completions matched the second-highest total by a Redskins' rookie, topped only by Norm Snead's 21 on Oct. 29, 1961, and his yardage total was the fifth best by a Washington rookie.

SAINTS: New Orleans' 27 points in the first half were the most by the Saints in a half since they scored 28 against the Bears in the second half on Sept. 13, 1992. Kicker Morten Andersen and guard Jim Dombroski have played in 114 consecutive games. Andersen, who has kicked 42 straight field goals from 40 yards or less, also has scored in 166 straight games, second-longest streak in NFL history. . . . Attendance in New Orleans was 47,908, the smallest turnout since 29,745 showed up for a 37-10 blowout of the Rams in the second game of the Saints' strike-marred 12-3 season in 1987. Scores of people were selling tickets outside the game, some for as little as $2.

VIKINGS: Minnesota, which averaged 101.5 yards rushing last season, is averaging only 90.8 yards per game after seven games.

_ TIMES WIRES

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