Source: Cowboys think Barber may be able to play with injury

Updated: September 8, 2008, 12:48 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CLEVELAND -- Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber was taken to the locker room with bruised ribs in the second half of Sunday's 28-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns and did not return.

A high-ranking Cowboys source told ESPN's Ed Werder that Barber damaged cartilage in his rib cage but X-rays indicated there were no fractures. While the team is uncertain of Barber's availability for next Monday night's home game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the source said the Cowboys' medical staff believes that Barber could be treated with painkilling injections and the injury protected with additional padding that would improve his chances of playing.

Ball security would be a concern if Barber wore additional equipment since that is the area where the ball is held against the player's body. The Cowboys' backup running backs are both rookies: Felix Jones and Tashard Choice.

Also, quarterback Tony Romo left with a bandage covering a laceration on his chin that was expected to require stitches.

Barber rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries in helping the Cowboys build a 21-7 halftime lead. He also had three catches for 21 yards.

Barber had five carries in the third quarter before leaving the game.

Jones took over in Barber's absence and punched in an 11-yard TD on his first carry to make it 28-7 in the third quarter.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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