HE'S BOUND TO GET A FROSTY RECEPTION
Keith Jackson, who had refused to play in Green Bay because he doesn't like the weather, has finally stopped pouting and reported to the team.
The Packers traded second- and fourth-round draft choices to Miami last March for Jackson, even though he said he didn't want to play in cold Green Bay. He said he was willing to sit out the season and try to force the Packers to trade him next year.
But it seems the tight end likes what he sees in Green Bay, after all.
The Packers at 5-2 are off to their best start since 1978. If the Packers were struggling?
"If the Packers were 2-4, that's where I'd be [back home in Little Rock, Ark.]," he said. "I'd be waiting to get traded next year. That's a true statement."
Do the Packers need him?
Mark Chmura has been an effective starter in his absence. He caught five passes for a career-high 101 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay's 38-21 victory over Minnesota.
HE'S GOT TO BE KIDDING
"I was able to jump in there and make what most people think is the greatest play in the world."
THE BUCCANEER-BASHING STOPS HERE
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, despite losing to Atlanta, are finally earning some respect around the league.
Too bad. A lot of good jokes were spawned by the team's prior futility.
One of the more memorable one-liners came from none other than John McKay, who coached the Buccaneers in the late 1970s and early 80s.
After a particularly poor performance, McKay was asked what he thought of his team's execution. His response: "I'm in favor of it."
THE GOODYEAR BLIMP IT ISN'T
Seems some people are still angry that a plane towing a billboard-sized condom ad was turned away from Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., last week during the game between the Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.
"It's just not up to an air traffic controller to decide what the public will be offended by," said Marsha Wenk, legal director of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ad, 25 feet high and 75 feet long, depicts a condom's silhouette with the brand name in the middle.
The company that makes the condoms has flown similar ads at several other NFL stadiums this season, including Texas Stadium, prompting only a handful of complaints, the maker said.
Safety Bennie Blades of the Detroit Lions might have broken fingers on his right hand during the loss the Washington Redskins. He will have X-rays today. . . . The Denver Broncos were without one of their top receivers, Mike Pritchard, who did not play after aggravating a knee injury in pregame warmups. . . . The Rams' J.T. Thomas hyper-extended his back when San Francisco's Antonio Goss grabbed his facemask during a punt return in the fourth quarter.
Henry Ellard, who spent 11 seasons with the Rams and is now in his second with Washington, caught his 700th pass, becoming only the sixth player to reach that plateau. Ellard has 701 receptions, joining Art Monk (934), Jerry Rice (867), Steve Largent (819), James Lofton (764) and Charlie Joiner (750) in the 700 club. . . . The Redskins are 3-0 when Terry Allen rushes for 100 yards, 0-5 when he doesn't. He had 110 yards in 24 carries against Detroit. . . . The Jacksonville Jaguars tied an NFL record for first-season victories with a 23-15 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Jacksonville (3-5) tied a record shared by Minnesota, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans and Cincinnati. . . . Buffalo Bill Coach Marv Levy was released from the hospital after undergoing surgery earlier in the week to remove a cancerous prostate.
Tom Coughlin, coach of the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars after they improved to 3-5 with the victory over the Browns:
"Now we're sitting here after eight ballgames, and we're in the hunt in our division, which makes me real happy for our football team."
Dexter Carter, the former 49er whose 57-yard kickoff return to start the second half sparked the Jets to a 17-16 victory over the Dolphins:
"This is the type of feeling I am used to. Guys fighting their way through things, looking to come up with the big play. You could see it in everyone's eyes. It felt great."