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The Bengals entered the season with big plans, after finishing 10-6 in 1986, but their aspirations were to be dashed. They started 1-1, but the loss was an exceedingly painful one, as Cincinnati lost to San Francisco despite having a lead and the ball with: 06 to play. After that loss, the NFL players' union went on strike. Games scheduled for Week 3 were canceled, and the next three games were played primarily by replacement players. Cincinnati went 1-2 in the three "replacement games." The replacement-player strategy led to picketing by Bengals veterans outside the team's practice facility, but replacement ball was effective in breaking the strike. A total of 85 NFL veterans crossed picket lines to play in the first replacement games, and though the Bengals were a stronger union team than many, LB Reggie Williams was among the 85. The flow increased after the first replacement weekend, though the Bengals had only one additional defection from the strike ranks, DE Eddie Edwards. But veterans agreed league-wide to return for Game 6 and beyond, without a settlement to their labor issues. The "real Bengals," however, could not get it back together again, posting a 2-8 record after their return, for a 4-11 overall team finish. The season ended with widespread speculation that fourth-year head coach Sam Wyche would be replaced, but Bengals general manager Paul Brown announced Dec. 30 that the club would honor the final year of Wyche's five-year contract. Brown termed the 1987 season "an aberration" for which Wyche should not take the brunt of blame, and looking ahead to 1988, Brown told media, "We have a team with talent, and yours truly does not consider this to be a rebuilding year . " Brown and Wyche, of course, were to be vindicated as the Bengals would go on on to win the 1988 AFC Championship. One bright spot from '87 was the first Pro Bowl berth for NT Tim Krumrie, the 10th-round '83 draft choice who had already earned status as a key player and fan favorite. Prior to the '87 campaign, Bengals Nation saw the end of an era, as QB Ken Anderson announced his retirement on June 2. The 1986 season had been Anderson's 16th as a Bengal, a term that stands through 2017 as the longest in franchise history . Anderson had participated in the team's spring mini-camp, but he changed his mind about a 17th season following a late May exam that showed reduced strength in his right (throwing) shoulder. "The doc told me, 'You're starting to wear out a little bit,'" Anderson said, "and there is life after football. I want to make sure that I can continue to play golf and otherwise enjoy that life."