PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : Stokes Ready to Join 49ers’ Cast on Sunday

<i> Associated Press</i>

A softer, smaller cast on his still-healing broken right hand probably will allow wide receiver J.J. Stokes to make his NFL debut Sunday, when the San Francisco 49ers play the New York Giants.

Stokes, the 49ers’ top draft pick, practiced with the new cast all week and pretty much has Coach George Seifert convinced he’ll be able to play and make catches despite wearing it.

“Right now I’m about as positive as I’ve been that he’ll play,” Seifert said. “Odds are he’s going to suit up.”


However, Stokes will be used as the team’s fourth receiver so he’ll probably see only spot duty.

Stokes has been sidelined since Aug. 17, when he slipped while running a pass route and broke a bone in his right hand while bracing his fall. He must wear a cast for about two more weeks.


After ducking reporters and cameras at training camp, Deion Sanders later proclaimed himself “psyched to be in Dallas” although still nursing his injured left ankle.

“The guys were yelling at me to slow down and take it easy,” the newest member of the Dallas Cowboys said. “I’m eager and ready to go.

“It’s almost scary to get out there and be able to jog a good pace. I’m not ready for that.”

Earlier this week, Sanders underwent arthroscopic surgery on his ankle for an injury received in the spring while playing for the Cincinnati Reds.


With cameras rolling, Sanders held up a sign he quickly scrawled on a note pad that read, “Leave Me Alone. Love, Deion.”

Asked if Sanders’ arrival in Dallas would dampen the hoopla, running back Emmitt Smith responded, “Obviously, not.”


New Orleans Saint defensive end Renaldo Turnbull has donated $10,000 toward a disaster relief fund in his native U.S. Virgin Islands, which was ravished earlier this month by Hurricane Marilyn, Associated Catholic Charities of New Orleans said Friday.

The donation was the first to the Renaldo Turnbull Hurricane Relief Fund, which will disburse the aid through Catholic Charities USA.