Owens practices after missing time with back spasms

Dallas Cowboys: Terrell Owens returned to practice Tuesday after missing two days because of back spasms.

Coach Wade Phillips hadn't ruled out T.O. playing in the preseason opener. So it appears that after being on the field for the team's final full workout in the Alamodome, the receiver could start Thursday night against Indianapolis.

Owens had an MRI on Monday, when he missed practice for the second day because of muscle stiffness in his lower back. The test showed no problems and Owens got treatment from team trainers.

Elsewhere in NFC camps:

Minnesota Vikings: Rookie running back Adrian Peterson was not in pads for Tuesday morning's practice, the result of lingering muscle soreness in his hip and precaution by a team desiring to keep the prized draft pick healthy.

"We want to make sure we don't compound that thing," head coach Brad Childress said.

It hasn't been determined whether Peterson will play in Friday's preseason game against St. Louis.

Seattle Seahawks: Walter Jones returned to Seahawks practice Tuesday for the first time in five days with a still-sore shoulder, but Seattle coach Mike Holmgren insisted he wasn't worried about the Pro Bowl left tackle's health.

"We are not going turn this into one of these 'Diary: Day Six, Day Seven, Day Eight,' are we? He's going to be fine. He's fine," Holmgren said Tuesday, after Jones spent the morning in the training room before walking out to watch the last 15 minutes of practice. "He could have practiced today. But honestly, I just want him ready to play in the first ballgame."

But by late afternoon, the 33-year-old Jones was back participating in a no-pads practice.

"Glad to be back. It just felt better," Jones said after his unexpected return to the field.

He said trainers were to re-evaluate him later Tuesday. That would determine whether he would participate in his first full-pads practice in almost a week Wednesday morning. Jones, whose seven Pro Bowls are tied with Steve Largent for second in Seattle history behind Cortez Kennedy's eight, then walked into the training room and dropped off a bulbous body wrap of tape and padding to prepare for yet more treatment on his right shoulder. He first had surgery on it about seven years ago and then again after last season.

Jones said he hurt it again "just banging" with fellow linemen in practice last week. He added that he would be able play this weekend if it was a regular-season game. But since Sunday is the exhibition opener at San Diego, he will likely watch -- though Holmgren wouldn't say so yet.

"I mean, he could play. He's in good shape. He's honest about how he feels. I really just want him ready to play in the first ballgame," Holmgren said.

Arizona Cardinals: Don't tell Troy Bienemann preseason games are meaningless. When the Cardinals visit Oakland on Saturday night, it will be Bienemann's first football game in 21 months.

A former All-Pac-10 tight end at Washington State, Bienemann tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in the next-to-last game of his senior year and then tore it again six months later. Now he's trying to make the Cardinals as a free agent, and a strong showing in Saturday night's preseason opener would help.

"I've been waiting for this for a long time," said Bienemann, who grew up in Santa Clara, Calif., not far from McAfee Coliseum. "I'm going to treat it like a regular-season game. It's really all or nothing for me. It's my time to shine. That's one thing I can guarantee you: I'm going to be really nervous coming into that game."

Leonard Pope, the Cardinals' third round pick a year ago, came to training camp as the starter, with Bienemann listed second on the depth chart. Ben Patrick, chosen in the seventh round last spring, is listed as third string, and Tim Euhus, John Bronson and Alex Shor are also in the mix.