Originally created 09/24/98

Fear of lingering injury could sideline Elway



DENVER -- Determined to keep his strained right hamstring from lingering throughout the season, John Elway might skip Sunday's game at Washington.

"It's a matter of whether I think I can go in there and perform, not hold us back and also not set myself back," Elway said Wednesday. "The last thing you want to do is set yourself back for three or four weeks."

The Denver Broncos' quarterback was injured in the fourth quarter of a 42-23 win over Dallas two weeks ago. After missing most of last week's practice, he worked out on Friday and played in Sunday's 34-17 victory at Oakland, only to aggravate the injury and depart in the second quarter.

Backup Bubby Brister took over, completing 10 of 17 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.

Elway has missed only 10 games in his career because of injury or illness.

Asked if he feared the injury could persist all season, Elway said: "With a week of rest, I don't think it would. That's why it's got to be the right decision that I can go play against the Redskins and not have to worry about it getting worse and lingering the rest of the year."

Coach Mike Shanahan said the Broncos will have a better feel for Elway's availability later in the week.

"If he says it feels tight and he thinks he might pull it again, then John won't play," Shanahan said. "There's always a chance that if he plays, he could pull it again. But he could sit out the next two weeks and pull it three weeks from now, too."