Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Surprise: Aikman Expected to Start Sunday

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Surprise: Aikman Expected to Start Sunday

Article excerpt

Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman was supposed to miss as many as three games because of a strained right calf muscle. It now appears as if the injury cost him only three quarters.

Aikman said Friday he's healed enough to start Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, although his movement would be severely limited.

"I'm not outrunning anybody, I promise you that," Aikman said. "I told the guys up front I need a few more ticks on the clock to bail me out. I've got to be conscious of that."

Aikman, who limped off the field in the first quarter of the Cowboys' 27-23 loss to Washington last Sunday, promised coach Barry Switzer he wouldn't make any mad dashes from the pocket.

"If it comes time to scramble, I'll get rid of it," Aikman said.

Aikman's calf was so swollen Monday that he had trouble walking. It had improved greatly by Tuesday, and by Thursday he was able to practice.

On Friday, Aikman was upgraded on the team's injury report from doubtful to probable. Team trainer Kevin O'Neill said Aikman is far from being 100 percent. Should there be any problems, Dallas is ready to use backup Wade Wilson.

"We're still in the healing process," O'Neill said. "Any time soft tissue is injured, there's a four- to six-week time frame before it totally heals."

Aikman acknowledges he's unsure about how well he'll do in the face of the Packers' rush. He's done well in practice - when defenders weren't allowed to hit him.

Meanwhile, Switzer apologized to his top defensive linemen for criticizing them. Switzer called his sharp criticism of Charles Haley, Leon Lett and Tony Tolbert after the Cowboys' loss Sunday regrettable.

"I made a mistake, and I'm man enough to admit it," Switzer said. "When we lose, we'll lose as a team. I think that it's wrong to cite individual players."

Patriots: There's a good chance Drew Bledsoe will be the Patriots' starting quarterback Sunday against Denver. He missed New England's last game because of a separated shoulder.

About the only thing that will keep him from playing is if he has soreness resulting from practice.

"He doesn't seem to have any problems," coach Bill Parcells said Friday. "He didn't have any problem last week. …

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