Coach Bill Parcells said he might not decide until Saturday morning whether Owens makes the trip, and he'll probably wait until that night to determine whether to use him in the game.
"I have to, as the coach, rely on other people to keep me informed as to really what's going on," Parcells said. "I can't
form my own independent opinion other than those involving, `Is his hand functional and can he play on Sunday.' 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."
Parcells added that he can only decide whether a player is ready to play "based on performance and physical conditioning."
"I don't have the expertise to do anything in any other area," Parcells said. "To intimate I do would be wrong."
He pointed to the fact that Owens was released from the hospital after being checked out there.
"I have to rely on the doctors that apparently evaluated him in
the hospital," he said. "If they deemed it appropriate to release
him, there must be a reason why they did that. I have to assume
that was the proper course of action. That's all I can do. I don't
have time to go around checking on every little thing."
Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle said late Thursday that Owens'
case is being classified as an "accidental overdose," not an
Owens wore receiving gloves Thursday with bandages under the
right one to protect the broken bone leading to his ring finger. He
broke it in a game a week ago Sunday and had a plate screwed in the
following day. This was his first practice in pads since.
Parcells said Owens did "everything he was asked to do." He's
expected to practice again Friday.
"He seemed to be OK," Parcells said. "There was no visible
evidence he was struggling to catch the ball."
Pain pills prescribed following the surgery were at the root of what Owens called a big misunderstanding that unfolded between the time he was taken by ambulance to an emergency room Tuesday night until he was released Wednesday. Owens gave his side of the story at an afternoon news conference.
"It was just an allergic reaction," Owens said. "It's very unfortunate for the reports to go from an allergic reaction to a definite suicide attempt."