Cowboys hopeful Barber, Choice to play

Updated: January 13, 2010, 12:03 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys starting running back Marion Barber will not practice until at least Thursday because of a swollen bursa sac in his left knee.

Barber, who underwent an MRI exam Monday morning to check for any structural damage, would only say he was all right. The Cowboys say they're not too concerned with Barber's status for Sunday's NFC divisional round playoff game at the Minnesota Vikings.

Barber first suffered a bruised knee in the regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles on Jan. 3. But his preparation for last week's playoff game against the Eagles was limited because of soreness, and Barber only carried the ball three times before leaving the game.

"We think he's going to be all right," coach Wade Phillips said Monday. "I know he wants to play, going back to Minnesota. I know he really wants to play this ballgame, but we'll monitor it."

Barber is a native Minnesotan and played for the University of Minnesota.

Backup running back Tashard Choice was shook up with about two minutes to play in the fourth quarter against the Eagles, but Phillips said Choice did not suffer a concussion and should play Sunday.

Choice suffered a mild concussion in the regular-season finale but didn't have any symptoms following that game. After taking a hit in Saturday's playoff game, Choice slowly walked off the field with help from head athletic trainer Jim Maurer and associate athletic trainer Britt Brown.

"I'm good," Choice said following the Cowboys' walkthough practice Monday at Valley Ranch. "I took a little lick on a little play, man. It was different from the week before. I took a little lick. That guy just got the best of me on that play.

"I don't remember what number [he] was. I said, 'Golly, at the end of the game, I took a big old lick.' But I could have gone back in the game. I just had to get myself together."

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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