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August 15, 2004

Cromartie says he will play

Surprise, surprise.

After getting tangled up with a receiver during a routine drill last Tuesday, Antonio Cromartie had to be helped to his feet and was carted off the field with a knee injury. After being evaluated by team doctors the sophomore cornerback believed he would be out for several weeks and his status for the Miami game was was doubtful. That's why teammates and coaches were shocked when he took part in Saturday evening's practice.

Not only did he participate, the former Prep All-American did well breaking up a couple pass plays.

It went real good, Cromartie said. My knee wasnt bothering me at all. I felt pretty good last night.

After testing his knee in a live practice, and after having a chance to sleep on it, Cromartie noted that he still felt good on Monday. With that in mind what is the status of Tuesday's scheduled arthroscopic surgery?

"I'm just planning on going through the season and having it after the season, Cromartie said. I dont think I can do any more damage to it. Ill just take it easy throughout the day. If I need some time off, Ill take some time off.

Last Thursday the 6-foot-3 cornerback told the media there was a 30 percent chance that he would play in the season opener. With the recent developments what are the odds he will suit up for the Hurricanes?

"100 percent," Cromartie said.

Last season as a true freshman Cromartie had 17 tackles and one interception. He made his biggest contribution on kickoff returns where he led the team averaging 23.7 yards per return. He was slated to be a starter on kick returns again this season and is listed as the No. 2 right cornerback behind senior Leroy Smith.

Ira Schoffel contributed to this report

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