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The Denver Broncos received encouraging news Wednesday about the status of injured running back Bobby Humphrey for Sunday's Super Bowl.

Humphrey, who is nursing two cracked ribs, passed an important test in the Broncos' first day of contact work when he collided with tight end Orson Mobley.

"That wasn't the hardest hit," Humphrey said. "But it's one I didn't expect and really didn't brace myself to tighten up for. So that was good. I got a good shot there and didn't know it was coming."

Humphrey said he probably would have to adjust to the rib protector he plans to wear, "especially when it comes to holding on to the football. Hopefully, by Sunday I'll know how to wear it and hold onto the ball."

"He looked good," said Denver coach Dan Reeves. "He did get hit a couple of times and experienced no pain, so hopefully that's going to continue to be the same through the week.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune received complaints from NFL officials for using a helicopter Monday to photograph San Francisco and Denver practices.

Except for pool photographers from the Associated Press and United Press International, the league doesn't allow newspaper and television photographers to shoot the teams' workouts. The Times-Picayune ran a photograph of an aerial view of the 49ers' workout in its Tuesday editions.

Reeves and San Francisco coach George Seifert said the newspaper's helicopter disrupted their practices.
In one of the non-surprises of the week, San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana, who has won almost every player award since the end of the 1989 season, was named Miller Lite NFL Player of the Year.

Miller Lite will donate $25,000 in his name to the Crippled Children's Society of Santa Clara, Calif.

Green Bay quarterback Don Majkowski finished second to Montana in fan balloting. Bills quarterback Jim Kelly was among six players nominated.
San Francisco running back Roger Craig has flown his chiropractor here to help get him in top condition for the game.

"I'll probably get two good massages before the game and see my chiropractor three times," Craig said. "You have to feel good physically, as well as mentally."

John Taylor, the 49ers' wide receiver whose policy all season has been not to speak with reporters, broke his silence this week.

"I'm dedicating this season to my mother, who passed away on July 4th," Taylor said. "Her name was Alice. I'm playing this year for her."

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