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Elway To Test Injured Hamstring

September 16, 1998

DENVER (AP) _ Getting treatment twice a day for his strained right hamstring, John Elway planned to test his injury for the first time in Friday’s practice.

Elway, listed as questionable on the Denver Broncos’ injury report, was noncommittal about his availability for Sunday’s game in Oakland.

``I’m going to get treatment and keep working on it and see how we are at the end of the week,″ Elway said Wednesday. ``It’s getting better, but it’s still got a ways to go. I always hope to play, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

``I’m not going to practice (Wednesday). We’ll see how it is (Thursday). But I think probably the forecast is to practice some on Friday. If I can’t move around, if I can’t go out there and defend myself, then I won’t be out there Sunday.″

Veteran Bubby Brister would start if Elway can’t play, with rookie Brian Griese in reserve.

Coach Mike Shanahan, who said he will prepare only one game plan regardless of which quarterback executes it, said the Broncos ``probably won’t know for sure about John until he actually takes a snap and tries to go through some drops. In a perfect world, we’d like to have him go through a Friday practice. But we don’t want to push him where we aggravate the hamstring.″

Elway, injured in the fourth quarter of last week’s 42-23 victory over Dallas, suffered a similar injury in 1996. That season, he tried to play through the injury, but when it lingered he finally missed one game a month later.

``The injuries are different,″ Elway, 38, said. ``On the last one, I was able to stay in and finish the game. That’s the thing that scares me about this one, the fact that I couldn’t stay in. But the last hamstring was torn and this one is not. So it’s hard to compare.″

Asked if he expected the Raiders to stack the line of scrimmage and try to stop running back Terrell Davis if he can’t play, Elway said, ``No. There’s only so many things they can do. We’ve got too many weapons with (wide receivers) Rod (Smith) and Shannon (Sharpe) and Ed (McCaffrey). The same thing happened with Dallas. They tried to take the pass away and we ran it. Then when they brought everybody back in to take the run away, we threw it. We’re real fortunate in the fact that we’re pretty balanced.″

Last week, Davis ran for 191 yards and three touchdowns and Elway was 16-of-22 for 268 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for one.

The Broncos finished with 515 yards and rank second in the NFL in total offense behind San Francisco.

Based on outward appearances, Davis expects Elway to play on Sunday.

``Just seeing him walking up and down the locker room,″ Davis said, ``he doesn’t seem to be limping or hobbling. So my guess is that he will play.″

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