I discovered this work-around quite by accident with my Ethernet Webplayer from Boundless.
I hooked up to the Webplayer an old bootable (DOS 6.22) IDE drive with the Win98Lite DOC image and utils on it, told the BIOS about the drive and it booted to the hard drive and let me install Win98Lite to the DOC using HACKWP.EXE (nice!). I then detached the IDE drive and rebooted. Since the hard drive wasn't there, it booted off the DOC and up came Win98Lite. When Win98 asked for drivers for the Ethernet PCI card, I hit cancel.
The trick now is to get the Ethernet driver installed. The mini pci card uses the Intel 82559 chip. I got the drivers from the archive 100PDISK.EXE which is at: http://support.intel.com/support/network/adapter/pro100/24659.htm (click on other vendors). I extracted the files in 100PDISK.EXE onto the hard disk (attached the hard drive to another computer to do this, naturally) and also copied some .CAB files from a Win98 release CD to the same hard drive. My old hard drive only holds 120mb, so I couldn't fit all the .cabs, so I only copied those that I thought were required for the networking (those not beginning with Win*).
To get Win98Lite to boot from the DOC with the hard drive attached, I told the BIOS that there was *NO HARD DRIVE* attached as primary IDE Master. Therefore the Webplayer booted from the DOC. But low and behold, when Win98 came up, it detected the hard drive and I was able to use the files on it to add the Ethernet card drivers! Several obligatory reboots later, my Webplayer was participating on my LAN and working with my Linksys BEFSR11 router to get onto the Internet.
Hope this helps.