Browns put Johnson, top tackler, on IR PHC


Linebacker Mike Johnson, the Cleveland Browns' top tackler four years in a row, will miss at least four weeks and possibly as many as eight because of his broken right foot.

Coach Bill Belichick said yesterday that Johnson broke a bone in the front of his ankle Sunday. Johnson was placed on injured reserve and will be out at least four weeks, meaning he will miss at least three games. The Browns have a bye Sunday, which counts as Johnson's first week on the injured list.

* RAIDERS: It started with a national television report speculating that rookie Todd Marinovich might soon replace Jay Schroeder as starting quarterback.

It continued yesterday with San Francisco coach George Seifert saying "our sources have even indicated we might see Marinovich at quarterback" Sunday when the 49ers face the Raiders.

Raiders coach Art Shell smiled when informed of the developments.

"I've got to find out who his sources are," Shell said. "No, there won't be any quarterback change."

Schroeder completed 10 of 32 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions in a 21-17 loss at Atlanta on Sunday.

* PATRIOTS: Coach Dick MacPherson missed practice to visit his brother, who was in serious condition at a Maine hospital after suffering a heart attack.

The Rev. Normand MacPherson, 65, a Roman Catholic priest, was hospitalized last week at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

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