Originally created 08/14/97

Grbac likely to miss Panthers-Chiefs game



KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Elvis Grbac, still nursing a strained abdominal muscle, will probably miss Thursday night's exhibition game against the Carolina Panthers.

Grbac, who has taken only 11 snaps in the first two exhibition games, aggravated the injury in pregame warmups last Saturday against New Orleans.

"The probability is he will not play," coach Marty Schottenheimer told The Kansas City Star after a brief practice before the Chiefs broke training camp Wednesday in River Falls, Wis. "It's a conservative approach to the situation. We will give him a few days of rest. We don't want to make this situation a chronic one."

What the Chiefs most want to avoid is the quarterback crisis facing the Panthers. Their No. 1 signal-caller, Kerry Collins, broke his jaw last week and will be sidelined 5-to-6 weeks.

In his only appearance this exhibition season, Grbac directed a drive for one of the three touchdowns the Chiefs have scored in losses to Pittsburgh and New Orleans. Obtained in the offseason from San Francisco, he's been trying to get in sync with a host of other newcomers to the offense, including free agent wide receivers Brett Perriman and Andre Rison and rookie tight end Tony Gonzalez.

Backup Rich Gannon, who started in last week's 26-7 loss to the Saints, was expected to start against the Panthers as both teams look for their first exhibition win.

Steve Beuerlein is likely to play the first half for the Panthers. Jay Barker, who becomes the No. 2 quarterback in Collins' absence, is likely to play most of the second half.

"We're going to have to get a good look at Jay Barker in the next couple of weeks," Carolina coach Dom Capers said. "He's going to get an opportunity in the next couple of weeks to show what he's capable of."

Capers said his top priorities will be to cut down on penalties and turnovers and get the Panthers' first takeaway of the exhibition season. Carolina was among the league leaders in those categories last year.

"We've come up on the short end, and we have work to do," Capers said. "It's important to understand what it takes to win games."