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Unclear Whether Brunell Will Start

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Unclear Whether Brunell Will Start

Unclear Whether Brunell Will Start

January 14, 2000
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Mark Brunell says he took all the snaps in practice Thursday. Jacksonville Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin says it was more like 60 percent.

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, which means there's no way to be sure Brunell will start Saturday's playoff game against the Miami Dolphins.

``If the game was today, it would have been Tom's decision, but I had a good day,' said Brunell, recovering from a knee sprain he suffered Dec. 26. ``I felt good and I think I would have been able to go.'

Coughlin conceded Brunell probably would have been declared active for the game had it been played Thursday. But he wasn't willing to commit to starting Brunell. The coach said that could be a game-day decision.

``I can't say anything yet,' Coughlin said. ``My reluctance is that I want to make sure I know what all the medical circumstances are before we make the decision. I'm sure at this point in time, Mark would be active, but that's all I know.'

Caught in between is backup Jay Fiedler, who has been trying to prepare as if he'll be the starter. Fiedler started his first NFL game in the regular-season finale against Cincinnati. He threw for 317 yards in a 24-7 victory.

``I think the team has enough confidence in me that it's not going to be a big shock or a big disappointment if I'm in there,' Fiedler said. ``Obviously, if the starter isn't playing, it's going to be a disappointment. But people have come up to me and said they have total confidence that I can do it as well.'

Brunell said he feels much better than he did at playoff time last season, when a high ankle sprain limited his mobility and forced him to play at about 80 percent effectiveness.

``It's nothing like that,' he said. ``I expect to have full mobility. I moved around on it today and it felt very comfortable.'

Image courtesy of PicturesNow.com

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