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Veterans who crossed the picket line, 1987 NFL strike

Football players, with the shortest career expectancy of any professional athletes, are reluctant to strike because they have more to lose and less time to make it up. They also feel less compunction about breaking a strike before returning to work, since they can be replaced by other players who are willing to work.

— Paul D. Staudohar, California State University business professor,
excerpted from his 1986 book, The Sports Industry and Collective Bargaining.

30 years ago today, two weeks into the 1987 season, NFL players went on strike. A 1982 strike resulted in eight weeks of no football and a settlement that resolved little; this time, the owners attempted to break the union’s ranks by bringing in strikebreaking replacements to play the scheduled games. Twelve days later, after a canceled Week 3, the season resumed.

A handful of veteran players never went on strike and played in the Week 4 games (notably, this delayed the start of Suge Knight’s NFL career); others crossed the picket lines in the next two weeks before the unsuccessful strike ended and the regulars returned for Week 7.

Those veterans — players who appeared on a 45-man roster in Weeks 1 or 2 of the 1987 season — who played in Week 4 through 7 are listed below:

played, dressed, but did not play

No veterans crossing picket line: Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins.

Atlanta Falcons

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Tim Green

Buffalo Bills

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Carl Bynum
Durwood Roquemore
Robb Riddick
Leon Seals

Cincinnati Bengals

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Reggie Williams
Eddie Edwards

Cleveland Browns

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Carl Hairston
Rickey Bolden
Brian Brennan
Sam Clancy
Gary Danielson
Jeff Gossett
Jeff Jaeger
Ozzie Newsome
Cody Risien

Dallas Cowboys

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Tony Dorsett
Too Tall Jones
Mike Renfro
Danny White
Randy White
Robert Lavette
Kevin Brooks

Denver Broncos

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Walt Bowyer
Bobby Micho
Billy Bryan
Jim Ryan
Dave Studdard
Steve Watson
Tony Lilly

Detroit Lions

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Bill Gay
Mark Lewis*
Danny Lockett
*Cut from pre-strike team.

Green Bay Packers

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Keith Uecker

 

Houston Oilers

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Charles Martin*
Ray Childress
Haywood Jeffries
Lee Johnson
Walter Johnson
Tony Zendejas

Indianapolis Colts

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Walter Murray
Jim Perryman
Gary Hogeboom
Scott Kellar
Blair Kiel
John Brandes
Mark Bellini

Kansas City Chiefs

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Kevin Ross

Los Angeles Raiders

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Ethan Horton
Jamie Kimmel
Bruce Wilkerson
Marc Wilson
Howie Long
Bill Pickel
Chris Bahr
James Davis
Mervyn Fernandez
Rusty Hilger
Jerry Robinson
Steve Strachan
Greg Townsend

Los Angeles Rams

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Jim Collins
Nolan Cromwell
Steve Dils
Dale Hatcher
Mike Lansford
Greg Meisner
Shawn Miller
Charles White
Alvin Wright
Mike Guman
Jim Everett

Miami Dolphins

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Liffort Hobley

New England Patriots

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Raymond Clayborn
Sean Farrell
Darryl Holmes
Guy Morriss
Tony Collins
Tony Franklin
Doug Flutie
Andre Tippett
Ron Wooten
Traded from pre-strike team

New Orleans Saints

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Bruce Clark
Daren Gilbert
Eric Martin
Reggie Sutton
Milton Mack

New York Giants

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Jeff Rutledge
Lawrence Taylor

New York Jets

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Mark Gastineau
Marty Lyons
Joe Fields
Don Baldwin
Ted Banker
Barry Bennett
Gerald Nichols
Pat Ryan
Don Smith

Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Earnest Jackson
Mike Webster
Dwight Stone
Frank Pollard
Gary Dunn
Merril Hoge
Charles Lockett
Terry Long
Kelvin Middleton
Ray Pinney
Jerry Quick
Chris Sheffield
Donnie Shell
John Stallworth
Calvin Sweeney
Gerald Williams

San Diego Chargers

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Elvis Patterson*
Terry Unrein
*Cut from pre-strike team

Seattle Seahawks

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Blair Bush
Norm Johnson
Jeff Kemp
Steve Largent
Fredd Young

San Francisco 49ers

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Dwaine Board
Dwight Clark
George Cooper
Roger Craig
Jeff Fuller
Ron Heller
Pete Kugler
Joe Montana
Harry Sydney
Joe Cribbs
Kevin Dean

St. Louis Cardinals

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Earl Ferrell
Curtis Greer
Troy Johnson
E.J. Junior
Derrick McAdo
Broderick Sargent
Vai Sikahema
J.T. Smith
Lance Smith
Roy Green
Charles Baker
Greg Cater
Mike Morris
Tootie Robbins
Travis Curtis
Jim Gallery
John Preston

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Dan Turk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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