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Injuries frustrate cornerback Hill
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Wednesday, Dec. 26 2007
Not only was Tye Hill finished for the season when he suffered a dislocated
left wrist against Atlanta on Dec. 2, his video-game days were on hold as well.
He could peck around on his laptop with his good hand, but then his computer
went on the fritz.
"So just imagine not having football," Hill said recently. "You can't play
video games. Sitting at home in pain, and just watching television."
All in all, it has been a season to forget for the second-year cornerback from
Clemson. First came a lower back injury, caused by a practice collision with
teammate Oshiomogho "O.J." Atogwe, just one week into the regular season.
Hill missed the next four weeks before returning as the third corner in nickel
packages Oct. 14 in Baltimore. Beginning Oct. 21 in Seattle, Hill started the
next six games at his usual left cornerback position. Then he suffered the
season-ending wrist injury against the Falcons.
Hill suffered the injury making a key pass breakup against Atlanta wide
receiver Joe Horn on fourth-and-7 from the Rams' 9 with 2 minutes, 19 seconds
to play. The Rams were nursing a 21-16 lead at the time, in what became a 28-16
"If you're going to do down, I would say that's the way I'd want to go down,"
Hill said. "I tried to put my arm down, to try to brace my fall."
Hill finished the game, but as the evening progressed, he was in more pain.
"I lost feeling in my thumb and my index finger," Hill said. "After the game, I
was moving my bone around a little — like once I left the locker room. So it
was pretty serious."
Hill had what amounted to emergency surgery the following day.
"It's like my bones were on top of each other inside my wrist," Hill said. "The
bones were pinching my nerve."
Hill said he had not had surgery previously, but didn't have time to be scared.
"I just wanted to get it fixed and get some painkillers as soon as possible,"
During surgery, pins were inserted to put the bones back in place. The pins
will come out in February. Hill was told the injury might have been
career-threatening if he were a quarterback. But Hill isn't a quarterback, and
even if he was, Hill's injury was in his left — or nonthrowing — hand.
As it is, Hill will be sidelined for four to six months. Even with the surgery
more than three weeks behind him, Hill might not be able to return to full
football activities until May or June.
"I hope this is the last time," Hill said. "I've been very fortunate and
blessed to be injury-free in all of my career."
Until this year, anyway. Hill's back and wrist injuries, coupled with Fakhir
Brown's NFL suspension and Corey Chavous' pectoral muscle injury in October,
meant the Rams lined up with their normal starting secondary only six times.
They were 3-3 in those games; 0-9 in the others. The Rams wrap up their season
Sunday at Arizona.
"We've got a young secondary," Hill said. "Hopefully, we'll be together for a
long time. And hopefully, we'll be healthy together for a long time."
Despite appearing in just eight games this season — seven as a starter — Hill's
10 pass breakups remain tied for second on the team. He also logged 30 tackles,
plus an interception (Nov. 18 at San Francisco).
Hill seemed to be getting in a groove when he suffered the injury against
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