Barber staying optimistic

Barber staying optimistic

IRVING, Tex. - Dallas running back Marion Barber is many things: young, talented, fast and strong. One thing of which he never will be accused of being: long-winded.

Barber made a rare appearance Wednesday when the locker room was open to the media and addressed his strained left quadriceps muscle and his chances for playing Monday night against the Carolina Panthers. There are several reports circulating that suggest Barber will be held out of the game, but to hear him tell it, albeit briefly, he hopes to play against the Panthers.

"I'm good today, I'll be good tomorrow, and then up until Monday," Barber said. "If I'm good today, I'm going to be good tomorrow, and then I'm going to be good up until Monday."

Barber strained his quad while racing toward the end zone during the waning minutes of Sunday night's loss to the New York Giants in the first regular-season game ever played at the team's new stadium in Arlington. Barber said the feeling, when he grabbed his thigh and collapsed to the turf, was not unfamiliar.

"Like a bad cramp," he said, when asked what the injury felt like at the time. "I've felt it before — that's happened to me before a while back, and it felt real similar."

Barber said he has not yet tested the leg by running, but that he has been working with the team's training and medical staffs to try to make sure he's ready to face Carolina in five days.

"I treated it, like I'm supposed to, and (I'm) about to get a workout in, after I talk with y'all, he said. "I'm feeling good already — feeling good."

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