Romo's thumb healing; C Gurode, S Watkins out Print
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Thursday, 20 December 2007 14:07
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 IRVING, Texas (AP) -Tony Romo's bruised right thumb should be just fine when the Dallas Cowboys play the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night, but he'll be taking snaps from a new center.
Cory Procter will replace Andre Gurode, who won't be traveling because of an injured left knee. Safety Pat Watkins will be staying home because of an ankle problem.
``We don't want them walking around, on an airplane, that kind of thing,'' coach Wade Phillips said.
Terry Glenn also was unlikely to go. While the rest of the receivers ran routes at the start of practice, Glenn was off to the side wearing a sweat shirt, catching a few balls. Phillips had said the decision whether to take Glenn would be based on how he did at practice.
``If he has confidence and if we have confidence that he can play, then it would be a limited amount,'' Phillips said.
Romo is getting ice and treatment for the injury sustained in the second half of this past Sunday's game, but he took part in all of practice Thursday. Romo hasn't spoken with reporters all week, so updates have come only from teammates and Phillips.
``I talked to Tony and he said things are progressing well,'' Phillips said before the workout. ``He said he's feeling better and better. He's real positive. We're still going to be protective of it, but it looks real positive.''
Another new option for playing time is fullback Zack Crockett, who was claimed off waivers Wednesday. He practiced Thursday and said he's ready to go - on offense, special teams or anywhere else.
``I'm cramming, learning the system as fast as I possibly can learn it,'' he said. ``I'll be ready if my number is called.''
Crockett was let go by Tampa Bay, which used him in only one game this season, his 14th. This is the first season since 1999 he hasn't been a weekly fixture. All those were with Oakland; he started nine games last year.
Phillips said Crockett was an intriguing pickup because the team has been carrying only one fullback, Oliver Hoyte, who missed several games earlier this season with a neck problem - and because running backs coach Skip Peete worked with Crockett for years in Oakland. Besides, Dallas had a free roster spot for a few days because safety Roy Williams is suspended.
``With only one fullback, and he's been banged up, we'd like to at least look at someone just in case something happens, and also to have someone here,'' Phillips said.
Also Thursday, safety Ken Hamlin wore Williams' No. 31 jersey at practice, but didn't want to talk about it.
``I'm just working,'' he said, smiling. ``I don't know nothing about that.''
 

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