Burt Reynolds feels partly responsible for a crippling injury to ADAM SANDLER's body double in new football movie THE LONGEST YARD - because he told sports tough guy BILL ROMANOWSKI to go after the stand-ins rather than hurt the star.

Reynolds, who starred in the original The Longest Yard in 1974, was more than a little shocked when the retired OAKLAND RAIDERS hardman told him he was planning to "take a piece of Sandler" home to his wife, and jokingly urged him to go after the funnyman's body doubles first.

He says, "I explained to him, 'Well, Bill, he has three body doubles. When Adam goes back to pass and you get near him, he'll scream and they'll yell, Cut, and put the double in. What you do is hurt the doubles until they take them off the field.'

"I'm doing all this tongue in cheek, and what happens? An hour later they're carrying off Adam's double on a stretcher. Three cracked ribs."

04/05/2005 03:07