EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) _ As long as the Minnesota Vikings keep winning, Coach Jerry Burns has indicated that he would stick with Tommy Kramer as the team’s starting quarter - even after Wade Wilson returns from his injury.
″I think both quarterbacks realize that as long as we’re winning, I’d be very reluctant to make a change,″ Burns said Thursday. ″It’s like they say, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.″
Wilson suffered a fracture to the knuckle of his left ring finger in the first series against Tampa Bay on Oct. 1 and was replaced by Kramer, who has led the Vikings to three straight victories.
Wilson, voted to the Pro Bowl last season and the Vikings’ official No. 1 quarterback when the season began, said he was not surprised by Burns’ statement.
″That’s how I got my chance to play,″ Wilson said. ″Tommy’s been playing well. The team is winning. So I understand it.″
Wilson’s hand still is healing, but he took his normal place in practice Thursday, handling snaps without a problem.
If Kramer was hurt in Sunday’s game against Detroit, Burns said he would use Wilson before third-string quarterback Rich Gannon.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Tommy Morrison, a 20-year-old heavyweight knockout puncher, has some competition for a major role in Sylvester Stallone’s latest ″Rocky″ movie.
And it’s somebody who once beat the Kansas City area fighter in the ring.
Morrison’s management announced Friday that their fighter had landed the role of a young fighter coached by Stallone’s Rocky Balboa character in the upcoming ″Rocky V.″
Since then, Derek Isaman, a linebacker at Ohio State and former boxer who beat Morrison in the semifinals of the National Golden Gloves Tournament in May, has gone to New York to read for the part.
Isaman visited director John Avildsen on Sunday and told the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch that Avildsen ″said he’d let me know in a little while whether they were going to use me.″
Isaman had previously read for Avildsen in Los Angeles.
Morrison and Isaman are vying for the role of Tommy Durrock, a young heavyweight who persuades Rocky, played by Stallone, to train him.
″There’s been no decisions made,″ Joe Margiotta, a production assistant for ″Rocky V,″ said Thursday from Los Angeles. ″It’s still open casting.″
Morrison’s professional record is 18-0 with 16 knockouts.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Goalie Ron Hextall will return to practice with the Philadelphia Flyers, team officials refused to comment on the status of his contract dispute.
Hextall declared his contract invalid Sept. 8, days before the start of training camp. Hextall said he would not return to the team until the Flyers agreed to negotiate a new contract with a higher salary.
The goalie will not be eligible to play until the Nov. 4 game at the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hextall was suspended for the first 12 games of this season after he picked a fight with Montreal’s Chris Chelios in the final game of their Stanley Cup semifinal last season.
″On Monday I called Ron and we agreed to meet,″ Flyers General Manager Bob Clarke said in a prepared statement Thursday. ″He called me back on Tuesday and a meeting with Ron and his agent, Rich Winter, was arranged for Wednesday evening in Philadelphia.
″We met again this morning and all agreed that the best thing for everyone concerned would be for Ron to get back to playing hockey as soon as possible.″
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Kickers Mike Lansford of Los Angeles and Morten Andersen of New Orleans, who won the major categories of the Pro Kick-Off U.S.A. Competition, will receive their awards before Sunday’s Rams-Saints game at Anaheim Stadium.
Lansford kicked a 67-yard field goal during the competition at 8,500 feet elevation at Vail, Colo., June 28-July 2.
Anderson won the overall points competition, based on cumulative accuracy and distance.
The competition, involving kickers from all 28 NFL teams, was sponsored by a clothing company.