Carriker Fighting Through Injury
Friday, December 19, 2008
By Nick Wagoner
Every month, every week, every day it has been something else for Rams defensive tackle Adam Carriker.
For a player who has had nothing short of a perfect bill of health for all of his football playing days, Carriker has been bitten by the injury bug more in the past year than at any point in his career.
“(It’s) incredibly frustrating,” Carriker said. “TheDallas game was when I hurt my ankle, and then I missed a game, and then I came back, and then just to the point where I thought I was getting pretty healthy with the ankle, I banged up my shoulder in the Chicago. That’s been bugging me. Then just last week, when my ankle started feeling good, I kind of tweaked it again. That’s football. I have been able to play. As long as I am able to get out on the field, I try to do the best I can.’’
After a solid rookie campaign in which Carriker’s biggest worries had more to do with which tackle position he’d be playing than any injury related issues, he suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
That was bad enough but after a long rehabilitation process, Carriker got strength back in that shoulder. Of course, he also suffered an ankle injury playing basketball during a team organized conditioning drill in the offseason.
Still, through training camp it appeared Carriker was at least headed in the right direction.
That path went off course against the Cowboys on Oct. 19, when Carriker suffered an ankle sprain. That injury kept him out the following week against New England and he returned on Nov. 2 against Arizona .
Just when it appeared Carriker was getting back to health, he hurt the right shoulder on Nov. 23 against the Bears.
“I pretty much played all last year healthy,” Carriker said. “I was really lucky until that last game when I did hurt the shoulder. So this year has been really frustrating to me. It’s been like three years since I missed any game time, since I had to deal with any injuries, since my first couple of years at Nebraska . It has been frustrating, but I am excited to get healthy this offseason.”
Carriker says he will take a break and get away from things for a few weeks in an effort to get fully healthy.
When that’s done, he hopes to get back to attacking his workouts to regain the 10 to 15 percent strength loss he estimates the shoulder injuries have cost him.
This season, Carriker has played mostly as the three technique, posting 33 tackles and a fumble recovery in 13 games. Coming off a rookie campaign that earned him team rookie of the year honors, Carriker’s injury plagued sophomore season has been disappointing.
But Carriker had what coach Jim Haslett called his best game last week against Seattle and seems to be making a comeback now that he’s closer to being healthy.
“He had the surgery in the offseason, he didn’t do any lifting and then it has been weak,” Haslett said. “Then he tweaked it at the beginning of the year and it’s been hurt on and off. And he’s had the ankle from playing basketball in the offseason. He’s had that the whole time. He played his best game last week and hopefully he will play two more good games before the season is out.”
Carriker is hoping to finish strong and build some momentum toward the offseason so he can become a building block for the defensive line heading into the future.
“I’m going to take the first few weeks and rest, yes definitely, just try to get healthy,” Carriker said.
PURSUING A GRAND: Rams running back Steven Jackson has a chance to make a little bit of history of his own in the final two games of the season but it’s going to take a pair of outstanding performances.
With games against the ***** and Falcons left on the schedule, Jackson sits at 771 rushing yards, leaving him 229 yards short of 1,000.
While 1,000 yards isn’t what it used to be, it’d be a pretty impressive feat for a back who has played in just 11 games and a small part of another. More impressive, it would tie Eric Dickerson for the most consecutive seasons to hit that mark with four.
Jackson said reaching that mark is a goal of his so long as it helps the Rams get a pair of wins.
“It’s definitely the goal with the win of course,” Jackson said. “We want to win these next two games and hopefully if I can get to 1,000 that’s still something you can build off of next year and looking forward to things to come in my career.”
HOLT HOPES FOR BRUCE: While some Rams had mixed feelings about the potential of San Francisco receiver Isaac Bruce reaching a pair of milestones this weekend in St. Louis , Rams receiver Torry Holt is hoping for the best for his friend and former mentor.
Bruce needs six catches to become the fifth receiver in league history to reach 1,000 receptions and 60 yards to move past Tim Brown into second place on the league’s all time receiving yards list.
Because of his relationship with Bruce and all that Bruce means to St. Louis , Holt hopes to see Bruce reach both objectives.
“I hope that he does that this weekend for selfish reasons,” Holt said. “I know how Isaac works. I know how important the game is to him. He’s never really made a big deal out of stats and moving up the stat ladder, but a guy with his longevity and his concentration and his commitment to the game, he deserves something like this. I’m looking forward to, hopefully on Sunday that he gets those six catches or whatever yards so he can go ahead and move on up the ladder. At the same time, we have to go out and handle our business and try to put up some points and hold those guys and ultimately come out with a win, but at the same time, it would be an absolute treat for us to be able to see Isaac break those milestones.”
INJURY REPORT: The Rams remain relatively healthy heading into Sunday’s game and all five players listed on the injury report are listed as probable.
Cornerback Jason Craft (back), defensive tackle La’Roi Glover (knee), guard Jacob Bell (hamstring) and kicker Josh Brown (groin) were full participation and are listed as probable.
Cornerback Ron Bartell (back) was the only player added to the list on Friday as limited participation but he is also probable.
San Francisco running back Frank Gore is still nursing an ankle injury. The ***** are calling him a game time decision but it’s unlikely he’ll play Sunday.
Re: Carriker Fighting Through Injury
I think we need to keep him in his position. Not DE. Unless we move to 3-4. He's a pretty good UT. But he's been injured. But to be out there and playing with injuries, he's got heart. Chris Long and him will be our anchor points on this line.
I'm wearing my Carriker jersey today, because I read this last night. He's a warrior.