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Archive for Friday, August 4, 2006

Owens sits out with bad wheel

Sore hamstring sidelines Cowboys wide receiver

August 4, 2006

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Wearing a hooded sweat shirt, shorts and a wrap on his left thigh, Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens spent Thursday riding an exercise bike instead of practicing.

Owens tweaked his left hamstring Wednesday and decided to sit out practice as a precaution.

"I wouldn't say I'm injured, just a little sore," Owens said.

He is unsure whether he will be ready to practice today, when two workouts are scheduled, or Saturday, when there will be a controlled scrimmage.

"This is my first time ever having to deal with a hamstring, so it's new to me," Owens said. "I never really know what to expect."

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he was not too worried about the injury. For instance, there are no plans yet for Owens to undergo an MRI.

"We thought we'd be better served to let him not push off on it today," Jones said. "We are being sensitive to it and we are watching it. For a guy who is renown for playing hurt, renown for working hard and wanting to be out here, we don't have any concerns."

Owens pedaled slowly on the bike for more than an hour. Trainers also put him on the ground for a sit-up drill and another with a medicine ball, then got him on the field for various leg lifts and some movements against a resistance band.

Between drills, he had a seemingly lighthearted talk with Jones for several minutes, with Jones pointing to his own hamstring at one point. They shook hands, and Jones tapped a punch on Owens' shoulder as they parted.

Terrell Owens stretches during practice at Cowboys training camp. Owens sat out of practice  Thursday in Oxnard, Calif., because of a sore hamstring.

Terrell Owens stretches during practice at Cowboys training camp. Owens sat out of practice Thursday in Oxnard, Calif., because of a sore hamstring.

This was the team's ninth practice, and the last few didn't go so well for the offense. Owens and quarterback Drew Bledsoe had trouble connecting, prompting several one-on-one chats between them and between Owens and coach Bill Parcells.

Owens wrapped the interview by responding to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, who said Wednesday that he made a mistake by bringing Owens to Philadelphia.

"It doesn't matter," Owens said. "I'm not an Eagle anymore. I'm here as a Cowboy. They're worried about me over there at the wrong time. I'm happy here."

Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger pronounced himself fit for the Steelers' first preseason game and said coach Bill Cowher would have to "hold me back" from playing eight days from now in Arizona. It was a departure from Roethlisberger's comment following Sunday's camp-opening practice that his playing is "always Coach's call."

The turning point for Roethlisberger, less than two months removed from a motorcycle accident that easily could have ended his life, was Wednesday night's practice at a high-school stadium in downtown Latrobe. In front of a record crowd, he looked like the old Roethlisberger.

"Everything feels pretty good," Roethlisberger said. "My arm feels good. I feel like it's coming along well. It's better than it has been in previous camps."

Cowher said his decision on the starting quarterback for the Aug. 12 game won't be made until next week.

Patriots

Richard Seymour took the field with his teammates for the first time in training camp Thursday. Unfortunately for the Patriots, holdout Deion Branch wasn't with him.

A tight quadriceps has kept Seymour from practicing and he did little physically in a relatively light workout. The star defensive lineman, without helmet or shoulder pads, lined up in his stance and walked through different formations.

He remained on the physically unable to perform list, although he said he should be at full strength for the regular season.

There was no timetable for Branch's return.

New England's top wide receiver and MVP of one of its three Super Bowl victories stayed away for the seventh straight day. He wants more than the $1.045 million he's scheduled to make this season, the last of a five-year contract he signed as a rookie, and has been negotiating for a new deal.

Seahawks

Receiver Darrell Jackson likely won't play until the team's Aug. 26 exhibition game at San Diego.

Jackson, who had a career-high 87 receptions in 2004, had surgery on his right knee Oct. 12 to repair torn cartilage. He missed 10 games but returned to catch 20 passes in three playoff games, including five for 50 yards in Seattle's Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh.

But weeks after that game, Jackson had a second knee surgery. He is watching training camp practices from the sideline wearing his practice jersey, team visor and a smile.

Coach Mike Holmgren also said that D.J. Hackett, who took Jackson's spot with the first-team offense, will miss two to three weeks with a strained right hamstring.

Cardinals

Starting right tackle Oliver Ross has been diagnosed with a probable torn meniscus in his right knee and could be out for 21â2 months. It is the same injury that sidelined receiver Anquan Boldin and cornerback Antrel Rolle for much of last season.

If Ross undergoes surgery, he will be sidelined up to 10 weeks, leaving the team depleted at an important spot as it tries to improve what was the worst running game in the NFL a year ago.

The Cardinals signed rookie free-agent tackle Kellen Davis on Thursday to help shore up the line, but the undrafted former Oklahoma State player does not figure in plans to replace Ross.

Titans

The Tennessee Titans might have gotten a glimpse into their future when Vince Young ran the first-team offense during the morning workout.

Starting quarterback Billy Volek was given the practice off to rest his arm for the afternoon, so Young worked exclusively with the first unit.

Young, the Titans' first-round pick from Texas, is regarded as the team's eventual long-term top quarterback, and he has seen scattered work with the first string in camp. His highlight of the day was a deep pass to receiver Roydell Williams for a touchdown over the outstretched arms of cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones.

Young said he was pleased to get to take snaps from starting center Kevin Mawae.

"Me and Kevin, I've got his snaps down and his speed and things like that, and some of the different things we need to do with the snap count to get guys offsides," Young said. "But I think I did a pretty good job of getting the plays into the huddle and getting those guys out, so they can make their calls."

Volek went through a full practice in the afternoon, relegating Young mostly to second-team work.

Rams

Coach Scott Linehan canceled morning meetings Thursday. Instead, he piled his players into buses and took them a water park in suburban Maryland Heights.

"It was more than anything therapy for the mind," Linehan said. "It's good for your legs to get in the water.

"We were there for about 45 minutes. We went down a couple of slides. That was interesting.

"I saw a human chain going down a slide," he added. "Everybody came up when they went down in the water. It was a chance of pace. I think it was good for mental health of the guys."

Leonard Little said he enjoyed the respite from camp.

"I went down the water slide with the fellas," Little said.

"Everyone was having fun. We were getting loose before practice."

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