By Bill Coats
Of the Post-Dispatch
Wednesday, Aug. 31 2005

A relieved Terry Fair said Wednesday that the only residual effect he was
having from the hit that left him temporarily motionless Monday night was some
relatively minor discomfort.

"My neck is just very sore, and I have a little bit of soreness in my arms," he
said. "Once I get that worked out of there, I'll be ready to get back out on
the field and pick up where I left off."

Fair, a veteran cornerback who signed with the Rams on April 28 as a free
agent, was injured when his head snapped back as he was trying to tackle
Detroit running back Kevin Jones. Fair was still for several minutes before
regaining movement. He spent the night in a Detroit hospital and returned to
St. Louis on Tuesday.

"I'm just happy that it wasn't as bad as it looked on TV," said Fair, who
doctors estimate could be back in time for the regular-season opener Sept. 11
in San Francisco. "Everything went well as far as the testing; everything
turned out negative."

Walking wounded

In addition to Fair's injury, the Rams had three other scares vs. Detroit:

Quarterback Marc Bulger was hit on the right hand after he released a pass.
Martz said the hand "was very swollen (Monday night), but the swelling's gone.
There was no fracture. He's fine." Bulger practiced Wednesday and didn't appear
to have any problems throwing.

Kicker Jeff Wilkins limped off after Lions safety Terrence Holt slammed into
him on an extra-point try in the first quarter. "He took a pretty good shot,"
Martz said. Holt was offside on the play, and Remy Hamilton made the
point-after.

Wilkins returned and kicked field goals of 35 and 31 yards, plus two extra
points in as many attempts.

Running back Arlen Harris was helped to the sideline after suffering a
concussion when he was slammed to the Ford Field turf by linebacker Donte Curry
on a 4-yard run late in the third quarter.

"It looked bad on tape," Martz said. "They're going to do a neuro-psych test on
him. If he shows no symptoms and he comes out good on the test, then we might
be able to use him (Friday vs. Kansas City). But the doctors aren't real
excited about him playing."

Tough competition

The tussle between Anthony Hargrove and Brandon Green at right defensive end is
still perking. Green recorded his third sack in as many games Monday night, and
Hargrove turned in perhaps his best outing of the preseason.

"They both have the right to play," Martz said. "They're both in the mix in
everything that we do on defense, absolutely."

As for the starting job, Martz said: "That'll all sort itself out. Both played
well enough to start, and I think that's a very healthy situation. We'll just
see how it goes."

Fitzpatrick stays sharp

Despite Martz's declaration that he's made the team, rookie quarterback Ryan
Fitzpatrick said he's taking nothing for granted.

"Definitely not. I have to go out and prove myself every day," said
Fitzpatrick, a seventh-round draft choice from Harvard. "And especially this
week. It's just a great opportunity for me to get out there, get some snaps
against another team and show what I have."

Fitzpatrick should get plenty of work in the preseason finale against the
Chiefs at the Edward Jones Dome, as the starters figure to see little, if any,
action.

Ram-blings

Defensive end Leonard Little was ill and missed practice. ... Tight end Roland
Williams (knee) did some individual work on the side but probably won't play
Friday. ... Martz usually schedules a brief walk-though on the day before a
game. But with only three days between contests this week, he's planning a full
two-hour practice for this afternoon.