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Will Eagle dare?

His doctor says no, but Owens wants to play

It doesn't appear that Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens intends to obey doctor's orders and sit out the Super Bowl, at least according to his orthopedist.

But the Philadelphia team physicians will have the final say before the Eagles take on the Patriots in Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 6.

Owens's orthopedist, Baltimore-based Mike Myerson, told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "I'm not releasing him medically. He's not medically fit to play. However, he has done extremely well in his recovery and his rehab, and he feels he'll be able to play. That is going to be a team decision that they'll have to decide themselves.

"He feels he can play and he's going to accelerate his rehab. He understands the risks. They've been discussed extensively. At this point in time, he wants to take those risks and play."

Myerson inserted two screws into Owens's ankle Dec. 22 after Owens severely sprained the ankle and fractured his leg in a Dec. 19 game against Dallas.

Myerson said he completely understood Owens wanting to play, and "for that reason, it's a dilemma for him and for me. I have to do what's right for the patient, regardless of the circumstances that are taking place right now. He is caught up in the excitement and the heat of the moment. Everybody wants him to be able to play, but in the long run, it's not going to benefit him."

Owens's rehab activity has been limited to running in a pool, though he was quite active on the sideline during Sunday's NFC Championship game, jumping and cheering on his team against the Atlanta Falcons.

"He is vastly improved," said Myerson, "but he has not healed sufficiently enough that I can give him a full release. There's no instability of the ankle, but he does not have full healing."

Owens attended the 76ers-Heat game in Philadelphia Monday night, and he spoke about playing in the Super Bowl.

"What a lot of people don't realize is I have been doing a lot of rehab on my own, healing on my own," Owens said. "Spiritually, God is healing me, and I am way ahead of where a lot of people expected me to be -- even the doctor. He is even shocked at what he has seen the times I have gone back there to do my post-op.

"Spiritually I have been healed and I believe I will be out on the field for the Super Bowl regardless of what anybody else says."

Eagles coach Andy Reid said Monday, "Somewhere in the next few days, he's going to try to run on it and jog on it and see what he can do."

While the Eagles have scored 27 points in each of their playoff wins against Minnesota and Atlanta, Owens's presence could give them a formidable weapon against the Patriots. The four-time Pro Bowler caught 77 passes for 1,200 yards this season and scored 14 touchdowns in 14 games.

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