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Aikman practices, may return Monday night

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 14, 2000

IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman returned to practice Wednesday, a sign he will play in Monday night's game in Washington.

Aikman traded snaps with Randall Cunningham, who played well Sunday in Arizona. Aikman did not complain about the headaches he had after a concussion 11 days ago against Philadelphia.

Coach Dave Campo said Aikman's status for the next game might be made today. If Wednesday is any indication, there is little doubt Aikman will play if he continues to feel good through the weekend.

"He looked good today," Campo said. "We're very fortunate to have an extra day. That gives us a little bit more evaluation time."

Aikman received his ninth career concussion in the opening 41-14 loss Sept. 3 to Philadelphia.

"Troy's Troy. He came out there, threw the ball around and looked like his old self," tight end Dave LaFleur said.

"I don't expect him not to play," tight end Jackie Harris said. "It was good to see him back out there, moving around and throwing the ball."

Campo wouldn't say whether Aikman and Cunningham would continue sharing time in practice, and he didn't commit to when he would decide who will play at Washington. Cunningham completed 24 of 34 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns at Arizona.

"I don't have a timetable. I'd like to have everything done by (today), but obviously you can't do that all of the time," Campo said. "We have an extra day, so we'll wait and see and make a decision when it's good to make a decision."

Aikman declined to talk with reporters, not unusual on Wednesdays at the Valley Ranch practice facility. He spoke Monday, saying he intended to play.

"The plan is to play this week, go through the week of practice and see how things go. But right now that's the idea, unless symptoms occur throughout the week once we get out and start working out," he said.

Washington coach Norv Turner said Aikman would be a tough challenge for his secondary. Last year, he threw for 362 and 244 yards against the Redskins.

"From my first-hand experience, I believe Troy's still one of the better quarterbacks in the league," said Turner, Aikman's mentor when he was a Dallas assistant from 1991 to 1993.

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