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Eagles star duo nursing injuries

Terrell Owens' next sideline route could be directly to the bench. Donovan McNabb may be a little more lucky.

Philadelphia's Pro Bowl wide receiver and quarterback are about as banged up as they've been all year going into a critical game against Washington where the loser lands in last place in the NFC East.

McNabb added a bruised rib to his growing injury report, while Owens might not play because of a sprained right ankle. Neither player practiced Wednesday, giving the Eagles' offense a significantly different look.

"I'm optimistic about the chance of those guys playing," coach Andy Reid said. "If things don't work out where they can't play, we've always moved on and the next guy steps in and does his job."

Owens' injury is much more serious. Owens sprained the same ankle he had surgery on last year in Sunday's loss to Denver and limped around the locker room after the game.

"He is hurting," Reid said. "He is sore. It's going to be a fight to get him there for Sunday. We're taking it day by day. He's made progress the last couple of days."

Owens is considered doubtful, meaning he has a 25 percent chance of playing against the Redskins. With his black cap on backward, Owens walked around the locker room after practice Wednesday without a limp or his ankle taped.

The All-Pro receiver broke his right leg at the end of last season, missing the final two regular-season games and the NFC playoffs before returning for the Super Bowl.

Reid dismissed an ESPN.com report that said Owens told the team his availability for the next two games was in jeopardy because of the ankle injury.

"I hadn't heard that," Reid said. "I don't worry about that. It's a day-to-day thing, that's the way he is approaching it and we'll see how it goes."

If Owens can't play, rookie Reggie Brown will start.

McNabb, who has put off surgery for a sports hernia, bruised a rib against the Broncos and complained of soreness and stiffness, but said he'll play Sunday in Washington.

McNabb was injured in the fourth quarter against the Broncos when he fell on offensive lineman Shawn Andrews. Even though McNabb said he's never played with so many injuries, he's not ready to concede he needs a game or two off to heal.

"When you do that, it seems you're throwing in the towel, and my towel is still folded up sitting on the chair," McNabb said.

WARNER TO START: Kurt Warner will replace Josh McCown as starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Coach Dennis Green declined to say why he was making the switch on Wednesday.

"That's coach talk," he said. "We've got a bunch of guys that were involved in that decision. We talk about it every single week and this week this is what we decided."

Warner started the first three games, but was knocked out of the 37-12 loss in Seattle on Sept. 25 with a right groin strain. McCown started the last four games, including the team's only two victories.

RAIDERS WILL SETTLE LAWSUITS: The Raiders and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority announced a plan Wednesday to end nearly a decade of legal acrimony, by dropping existing lawsuits and ending an unsuccessful seat licensing plan.

The so-called personal seat licenses — part of a deal the team and authority worked out 10 years ago to bring the Raiders back home from Los Angeles — became a focal point of the team's fraud lawsuit against the authority that ended in 2003 with a $34.2 million jury award in the team's favor.

The licenses were required to buy season tickets and cost between $250 and $4,000 depending on seat location. They will expire after this season.

Because the games rarely sold out, fans who bought leftover tickets on game day wound up sitting next to disgruntled fans who had paid a premium for a right to sit there.

ROETHLISBERGER QUESTIONABLE: Ben Roethlisberger sat out Wednesday's practice with a right knee injury and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game in Green Bay. He said he feels better than he did three weeks ago after sustaining a left knee injury during a Monday night game.

"I was on crutches, so obviously I was a little bit worse," the Steelers quarterback said. "It's just a little sore thing, but we'll get better."

Roethlisberger declined comment Wednesday about the results of an MRI examination Tuesday morning. He referred "knee questions" to coach Bill Cowher, who didn't talk to reporters Wednesday, but said Tuesday that the initial diagnosis was a strain.

RICE UNAPOLOGETIC: Simeon Rice walked into the locker room with a smile that strongly suggested the mercurial defensive end had put his latest transgression with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers behind him.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection known for flighty behavior that can rub coaches the wrong way said he missed a team meeting before last week's loss at San Francisco because it was held an hour earlier than normal.

The Bucs responded by sending their best pass rusher home, then losing to the 49ers.

"I thought it was our regular time, 8 o'clock. They moved it to 7 o'clock. Hey, what can you do about it? I showed up at eight . . . It was a honest mistake. Human error," an unapologetic Rice said Wednesday.

ALSO: Larry Johnson, still seething in his role as backup to Priest Holmes, said he's decided not to rock the boat and will wait until he might get a chance with some team other than Kansas City. "I can never swallow the situation right here," Johnson said Wednesday after the Chiefs went through a practice without many of their top players. "You can't ask that of any back who's been used to getting the ball in college like I was getting it." . . . St. Louis Rams kicker Jeff Wilkins, in his ninth season with the team, signed a four-year contract extension on Wednesday . . . Steve McNair sat out practice Wednesday to rest his back, and the Tennessee Titans are so banged up that he had plenty of company. Nine Titans were unable to practice because of injuries, forcing coach Jeff Fisher to ease back on the session and turn it mostly into a walkthrough. But he said McNair will practice today.