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Lending You A Hand

And he was wearing a glove! 

"I thought the glove tore," Bilbo said. 

The glove didn't. It was his hand, and from the sounds of things, he was much more calm seeing all the blood once he removed the glove to discover his problem than was receivers coach Todd Haley when he suggested he might need to go in for a few stitches. 

Got him eight to nine stitches. Wanted to rip off the fancy bandage he still has on there to protect the wound to show me. I quickly assured him that would not be necessary. 

"When I first came out here (Romo) reminded me of Brett Favre," Bilbo said of how Romo cranks up the heater. "I was used to finesse quarterbacks (at Arizona) . . . .  

"And Bledsoe really puts it on you. It sucks when you have to catch a ball." 

Especially for a living. 

Funny thing is, most of these guys once they reached high school never probably realized back in the day - oh gosh, my day - that receivers played without gloves. 

Ever have to do that there Damarius? 

"No way," Bilbo said, shaking his head. "And under my gloves, I tape my knuckles up." 

They all learn that little technique once they reach this level. Hurd does it. Cryaton does it, and ever since witnessing the difference between catching a pass in college and catching one in the NFL. 

In fact, Crayton says he noticed that difference "the first day, especially dealing with Romo. He was trying to drill everything, and he's the reason why I continue to tape my fingers every day." 

So now maybe you have a little better idea of what Owens is trying to do here, and what he'll have to deal with if he can prove he's ready to play, be that this Sunday at Tennessee or the following Sunday at Philadelphia. 

Yep, does give new meaning to pain management. 

Now Owens has been catching some passes out here at practice. Tuesday, while working with the trainers during the team practice, he did catch like 20 or 30 balls. But nothing hard. Some thrown by the conditioning staff, some thrown by Hurd. 

"It's not like, 'OK, it's just a broken hand,'" says Crayton as if there is nothing to trying to catch a ball under such conditions. "Now if all you do is run deep routes and let it drop into your hands, it would be OK." 

But you got to run that eight-yard hitch. You got to run that slant. And the way these guys throw the ball, hard enough to break the webbing on your hand and permanently disfigure knuckles and fingers, that doesn't sound all that easy with two good hands. 

But with a still-healing fourth metacarpal?  


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