Garcia: I am probably at 70 percent

ALLEN PARK - If the Lions were playing on Friday, the question would be: Is a 70 percent, untested Jeff Garcia better than a 100 percent, maligned Joey Harrington?



Thankfully for Lions' head coach Steve Mariucci, that question doesn't need to be answered. Yet.

With uncertainty surrounding the starting quarterback position, Garcia and Harrington continued to take practice snaps as the Lions' coaching staff mulls who will start Sunday's game at Cleveland.

Following Thursday's practice, Garcia admitted that he isn't 100 percent, and still does experience pain from injuries suffered in early September. But, he said, that should subside by gameday.

"I think just dealing with a discomfort or a pain issue I am probably at a 70% rate right now," he said. "I don't think that will necessarily be the case come Sunday. Like I said, it is just amazing how your body responds to competition and going out to battle on the field."

Asked whether or not he may talk himself into starting, Garcia believed that is only natural -- regardless of health.

"I think that is all I know really," he said. "So much of this is mental as far as the preparation is concerned and as far as how you overcome certain obstacles. I have been overcoming obstacles all my life and turning those things around and taking advantage of the opportunities.

"I feel like if I am not in a position to help this team, then I will definitely be honest with coach and step up and say 'I am not the guy to use this weekend, give me another week.' If I were to feel that way, then so be it, but I don't think I am going to feel that way."

Both quarterbacks split reptitions again during practice, something not-so-uncommon in today's NFL. Many media outlets read into Garcia's snap count as a sign that Mariucci would be willing to pull the plug on Harrington's status, but those thoughts were premature. While Harrington hasn't been guaranteed a start, it will also take a convincing Friday practice and minor miracle for Garcia to jump ahead on the depth chart.

Mariucci said that he would likely make a decision either Friday or Saturday, and would like to avoid having to make it a gametime decision -- something assumed earlier in the week.

"I am not ruling out game time but we probably will consider something sooner than that," Mariucci said. "We haven't made any decisions yet.

But he did say that health would be of importance.

"That is one consideration that we mentioned," Mariucci said. "The other is how well he performs and how does he look in practice and maybe a gut feeling. We are just going to take it all into consideration and make a call."

Mariucci was pleased with both quarterbacks during each session, saying that it was the first practice in while in which no balls hit the ground during offensive drills.

Injury Notes: WR Roy Williams missed yet another practice, only jogging slightly between drills. His status for Sunday is questionable, but he is unlikely to play. KR/PR Eddie Drummond field punts and kicks on Thursdsay, but Mariucci was concerned with his lack of speed. Drummond, like Williams, is questionable but could miss his second consecutive game. Offensive tackle Jeff Backus' injured ankle is improving, and he will likely play. Running back Kevin Jones was held out of hitting drills, but is improving and should also play.

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