IRVING, Texas -- Terrell Owens sat at his locker Friday
flexing his swollen right hand, smiling and saying little.
After practicing for the second straight day, the Dallas Cowboys
receiver seemed in good spirits and on track to play Sunday. But
Owens, who will travel to Tennessee, refused to say if he would
play against the Titans and reminded the media surrounding him that
he talks on Wednesdays.
But Friday evening Owens said on his radio show that he told
coach Bill Parcells that he will be ready to play.
"If he gives me the nod that I can play, then you best believe
I will be ready, no matter what," Owens said. "They can slap the
hand; they can do whatever they want to the hand. I will be
Parcells said Owens has done everything he's been
asked to do in practice this week. Still, Parcells said he hasn't
decided if the receiver would play against the Titans.
"The injury status has not changed, and we're going to make
some gametime decisions as to who's going to participate," said
Parcells, who will talk to trainers Saturday.
Owens had only a small bandage over the scar on his hand from
surgery Sept. 18, a day after he broke a bone near his ring finger
in his home debut for the Cowboys.
"If my medical people tell me those things are in place, and then he looks like he's [OK] we'll make that consideration then."
-- Bill Parcells
When asked about the swelling, Owens said, "It's gone down a
lot." Other than that, he let teammates speak for him in the
"You can go on and migrate around," Terence Newman told
reporters, standing in front of Owens and pointing to other
lockers. "Thank you for coming out."
Parcells said he hadn't sat down with Owens yet, but the coach said he "would
have time to do that."
During his radio show that airs on the ESPN affiliate in Dallas
and another station in Miami, Owens said he wasn't bothered that
there hadn't been any extended dialogue with his coach this week
and understood that Parcells was focused on preparing for the game.
Now, Owens could play at the end of a week in which he was
hospitalized for mixing painkillers prescribed for his hand injury
with his usual supplements, then had to deny a police report that
he had attempted suicide. On Thursday, Dallas police closed their
investigation, calling it an "accidental overdose."
"If I was suicidal, I mean, of all that I've gone through, I
probably would have already committed suicide if that was the
case," Owens said on the radio, referring to Philadelphia dumping
him midway through last season only months after he helped them
nearly win the Super Bowl. "If I didn't commit suicide then, why
would I do it now?"
Owens said the medication he took Tuesday night was a generic
form of Vicodin, the same pain medication that made him sick the
previous week after his surgery. He said he took those pills again
only because he couldn't find a milder medication that had been
given to him by a team trainer.
Within hours after leaving the hospital Wednesday, Owens was on
the field catching passes from Drew Bledsoe and Tony Romo. He
returned to practice with the full team Thursday.
The finger didn't appear to bother Owens during the 15 minutes
of practice open to the media Friday. Wearing receiving gloves with
padding protecting the injury, he caught balls with his hands in
front of his body, and readjusted on one pass over his shoulder to
make a fingertip catch in the back of the end zone during a drill.
Generally, players who practice Thursday and Friday for Parcells
are available for games.
So, why wouldn't Owens play Sunday?
"Just if I thought there was an inordinate number of mental
errors or something that didn't look like he was up to speed for
the game," Parcells said.
The coach wouldn't say if Owens had had any such problems.
"I'm not commenting on that, what I think about that,"
Parcells said. "You're going to have to wait."
Parcells said he wasn't qualified to offer a public opinion on
the off-the-field drama surrounding Owens and stopped short of
calling it a distraction.
"We're a little early in the season to be passing judgment on
what's going to happen," Parcells said. "I think we need to let
these guys go forward and settle down to a little more normal pace.
Hopefully we'll get good production out of everybody and go forward
from there. That's what I'm hoping we do."