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Incognito is 'iffy' for Sunday's opener
Incognito is iffy for Sunday's opener
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH -- 09/07/200
You work, you sweat, you plan for opening day. ... Then a tight end and a linebacker fall on your ankle, and everything changes. Welcome to Richie Incognito's world.
Incognito suffered a high ankle sprain Aug. 18 against San Diego in the Rams' second exhibition game. He hasn't played since, and as each day goes by this week, it's looking more and more as if he won't play Sunday against Carolina.
"At first, they told me four weeks with a high ankle sprain," Incognito said earlier in the week.
In other words, a four-week recovery time.
"And we're at 2Ĺ weeks," Incognito said. "So we're just taking it day by day."
But Incognito is running out of days. He has done very little work in practice this week, particularly in "team" situations when the Rams go 11 on 11. Incognito said the ankle feels pretty good, but added: "There are a couple things, a couple movements that bother it right now, and I've got to stay away from them."
One of the reasons the Rams went to a youth movement up front ó releasing Adam Timmerman in February and installing Incognito as the starting right guard ó was to get more bulk up front and combat massive defensive fronts, such as the one the Carolina Panthers will bring to town Sunday.
Coach Scott Linehan said Incognito will test the ankle today in practice. If it's determined that Incognito can't go, Linehan must decide on either Claude Terrell or Milford Brown as the starter against the Panthers. The two have shared repetitions with the starting unit in practice this week. Whether it's Terrell or Brown, Linehan says he has a good comfort level about starting either player Sunday.
"I feel much better about the size, strength and general mass of our offensive line," Linehan said. "That's what you've got to have to match up against a team like the one we're playing. It's hard to find two bigger, physical tackles than the ones we're going to play Sunday."
That would be Carolina defensive tackles Kris Jenkins and Maake Kemoeatu, who together form about 700 pounds worth of defensive tackle for the Rams' interior offensive line to tangle with, at least on running plays. Jenkins, the subject of trade rumors last spring with the Rams, is listed at 335 pounds but is playing at closer to 350 these days.
"He's a three-time Pro Bowler," Terrell said. "He's a load. Through all the injuries, he's one of the premier DTs in this league. Those are the kind of guys you want to play against, a measuring stick to you and your game."
If Terrell starts Sunday against Carolina, he said the matchup with Jenkins would be "a clash of the titans. He's big. I'm big."
Terrell and Brown are wide bodies themselves at 330 pounds apiece, which makes them the kind of road-grading mauler types whom Linehan seems to prefer. Although not quite Ankiel-esque, if Terrell finds himself in the starting lineup Sunday, it would mark an amazing comeback.
Terrell worked himself deep into Linehan's doghouse last season, largely because of the on-again, off-again status of a wrist injury and whether it needed surgery. In addition, Terrell didn't ingratiate himself with the coach by showing up late for the team's offseason conditioning program this spring.
"When you're the injured guy, you come back and you're trying to climb up the hill," Terrell said. "It's like you're not in the same standing as you were."
But after missing the entire '06 season, Terrell has knocked off the rust during training camp and the preseason, and he appears to have worked himself back into the good graces of the coaching staff.
"They know what kind of player I am," Terrell said. "I'm pretty sure they thought I was a valuable asset to the team. That's why I'm here now."
As for Brown, he didn't join the Rams until July 29, the third day of training camp, giving him less than six weeks to get acclimated to the offense.
"It came pretty quick," Brown said. "They just told me to get in my playbook. I started learning things as fast as I could."
He may get a pop quiz Sunday if Incognito can't go.
Well, best wishes on the quiz to Terrell and / or Brown.
I still believe CT can become one of those big, agile guards (like 'Tommy Boy' in quickness, center of gravity, leverage). Mostly, I hope CT proves himself, his talent, once and for all, to the team. // Milford Brown, keep learning.
:bash: Get well Richie.
Re: Incognito is 'iffy' for Sunday's opener
High ankle sprains are tough to recover from. If Incognito isn't 100% I say sit him.
Why take a chance on not having him for more than just the 1st game of the season?
Re: Incognito is 'iffy' for Sunday's opener
I think Ritchie needs to talk with MR Jack Youngblood; take a few aspirin, tape it up, and get in the game.JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS
"HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"Adm. William "Bull" Halsey
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