Wade Phillips encouraged by Marion Barber's progress

As expected Marion Barber was limited in Thursday's practice with a bruised knee, but coach Wade Phillips was encouraged by the running back's progress.

"We'll see what he does [Friday] but it's looking better and better for him to be able to play," Phillips said.

If Barber is dressed, Phillips expects Barber to be a starter.

Running backs coach Skip Peete said he will watch Barber closely during warmups and early in the game should he play. Peete noticed Barber was not as explosive vs. Philadelphia last week and took him out of the game. He said Barber could have played but with a big lead and the success of the other running backs it was wise to rest Barber.

Barber has told the coaches he wants to play in his return to his home state, but every player wants to play even when they can't play.

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