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Justin Tuck, 09.23.09

Q. How do you feel?

A. I’ve felt better.

Q. Are you optimistic that you will play this weekend?

A. I am always optimistic; right now it’s just day to day, taking it one day at a time, just being smart about it

Q. Have you made progress from Sunday?

A. Tremendous, very encouraging, but like I said, we’ll know a little bit more at the end of the week. Right now, it’s just one day at a time and we’ll see how it plays out.

Q. Do you need to be smart not to risk a more serious injury if you did play?

A. I think so, the main thing that we are talking about right now is this season is a marathon, not a sprint. Obviously I want to be out there now but the training staff and coaching staff, they know what they are doing and I am just all ears about it.

Q. You have had this injury once before at Notre Dame, how much does that experience help you understand where you are this time?

A. Well I did have a similar type of situation at Notre Dame, the doctor sounded encouraged because normally when you re-injure something your body knows pretty much how to respond to it so hopefully the comeback will be quicker than if it was the first incident. So that whole process is encouraging and hopefully it bodes well for me.

Q. How long did that one keep you out?

A. Actually, I didn’t miss any games during that one. I don’t think it was as severe as this one. Again, I am just going on speculation. I don’t know how bad that one was or how bad this one is either.

Q. You think this one is more severe?

A. I said I don’t know.

Q. After the game you sounded optimistic you were going to play, what has changed?

A. Nothing has changed. After the game you are still hyped for the game, after the adrenaline wears off your body really tells you what’s going on. But I am still optimistic, no question about it. Derrick Ward has been calling me and guys around here talking a little trash so I would love to be able to go out there and shut him up a little bit.

Q. You think he’s calling you because he knows you are not going to play?

A. No, Derrick is not that type of guy, he has been calling since preseason, he has been very consistent in his message.

Q. What’s his message?

A. He’s going to run all over us.

Q. Justin you play sick, you play hurt so is it really going to take something serious here to keep you out?

A. Yeah, I think so. We will see what happens. I played sick to clinch the playoffs. Every game is important, don’t get me wrong. But, like I said, we just have to be smart about it and make sure bravery, I guess, doesn’t cost us a year.

Q. All injuries, I’m sure, are really frustrating but because of the nature of how this one happened, does it make you more angry?

A. It makes me hate the Cowboys a little bit more. You can write that I did say hate. I stand by what I said right after the game that it was a bush league play. You move on, that’s my plan, to move on.

Q. You are aware of his comments though?

A. I am. Normally, people go to the Pro Bowl for blocking people, not tripping people. So maybe he should keep his feet on the ground. We’re not going to get into a war of words here, we are going to let it be what it is, and I’ll see Flozell (Adams) when we play them again.