Friday, October 13, 2006

By Nick Wagoner
Senior Writer

If there was any doubt about the ability of cornerback Travis Fisher to play this week after suffering a strained groin in last week’s game, it was erased in about four seconds Friday. 4.26 seconds, to be exact.

Timed in the 40-yard dash in Friday’s workout, that is the time Fisher said he recorded. That is obscenely fast under any circumstances but for someone recovering from a groin injury, no matter how serious, it’s even more impressive.

In the locker room after ward, Fisher was confident that he is ready to go and said he felt fine. Coach Scott Linehan was optimistic that Fisher would be ready to go on Sunday against the Seahawks as well.

“I think so,” Linehan said. “Travis got some work in today. We’ll see how he feels. I am going to go in and see the trainers and talk to Travis and get an update. But he has felt good and looked good in practice.”

Earlier in the week, Fisher vowed that he would play even after missing all of Wednesday’s practice to get a little more recovery time. He returned in pads for most of Thursday’s practice and took part in all of Friday’s workout as well.

For those worrying that Fisher’s injury might be similar to the one he suffered last year, he insists that it isn’t. That’s why he was never worried that he should be able to play this week.

“It’s a different deal, though, totally different than what I had last year,” Fisher said. “Last year, I had a problem with the groin. This year it just tightened up. It kind of scared me a little bit. But I am fine.”

While it seems that Fisher will take his usual starting spot at cornerback, the outlook for fellow starter Fakhir Brown doesn’t look as sunny. Brown was limited all week in practice and the decision on whether he plays will come down to the final hours as he recovers from an ankle injury.

“We will make a game time decision on Fakhir,” Linehan said. “He is probably the most questionable of the two. He didn’t do much today. He could play if we needed, but we have a couple of options in the secondary that we may use on Sunday.”

If Brown is out, as he was last week against the Packers, rookie Tye Hill will most likely take his place as the starter. With Hill and Fisher at the corners, the Rams used strong safety Corey Chavous in the slot as a nickel corner, but that might not be necessary if Fisher can hold up.

Ron Bartell and Jerametrius Butler will most likely remain active this week and available to come in in any situation. Fisher has spent plenty of time working in the slot in the nickel anyway, so it would stand to reason that Butler could work outside with Fisher in the slot when the Seahawks have multiple receivers on the field.

Brown and Fisher both remain questionable on the injury report.

LINE DANCING: The question marks in the secondary might take precedent because it involves the starters, but there is another heated competition going for the backup defensive end job.

Linehan said Friday that rookie tackle Claude Wroten will be active against the Seahawks, leaving a late decision to be made on which end will backup Leonard Little and Victor Adeyanju.

“The D line position will be a game day decision between a couple of those guys, Brandon and Tony,” Linehan said. “We will make that decision based on today’s practice and we’ll have one up and the other will be down. Claude will be up, though. That’s where we are at with that.”

Linehan said based on what the defense would like to do this week, having the fourth tackle is more important than the fourth end. Hargrove has a half sack in four games while Green has a half sack in two games. Green had some pain in his foot last week, limiting him in practice and making Hargrove active. This week has been a more tightly contested competition.

“It was very competitive,” Linehan said. “In all fairness, I think last week Brandon was a little more likely to be down because he had some pain in his foot. He has had a good week, as Tony has. Clearly, it’s a very competitive situation between Tony and Brandon.”