By Bill Coats
Thursday, Sep. 27 2007

The sudden deluge that swamped Raymond James Stadium just before halftime
Sunday did more than drench the coaches, players, officials and more than
65,000 spectators. It also might have contributed to a key Rams injury.

A light rain fell for most of the second half, and running back Steven Jackson
suffered a partial muscle tear in his groin in the fourth quarter of Tampa
Bay's 24-3 triumph. The muscle gave way when Jackson slipped as he tried to
make a cut.

"That heavy rain kind of tore up the field," Jackson said Wednesday. "They had
a game there on Saturday (South Florida vs. North Carolina), so it was really
muddy and the field was kind of sloppy. ... I was slipping throughout the game."

Jackson began rehabbing Monday. "The first week is pretty much resting and
trying to make sure that you keep your range of motion," he said. "It's just
one of those things that takes time, and you just have to let it heal."

Jackson, who carried 30 times for 115 yards vs. the Buccaneers, had missed just
one game during his two seasons as the team's primary back. He won't play
Sunday in Dallas and said he'll be "week-to-week" after that.

"It's disappointing because I'm not going to be able to go out and help my team
... especially since we haven't had a chance to get a win under our belts,"
Jackson said.

Rookie Brian Leonard, a second-round draft pick, will take over as the
first-team back, with Travis Minor manning the backup spot. Richard Owens will
move in at fullback, where Leonard also had been getting some work.

"We have a lot of confidence in Brian," Jackson said. "He took a majority of
the snaps in the preseason and got a lot of carries, so we know he's
comfortable in the running game. He's showed over time, especially in the last
two weeks filling in at fullback, that he can block and pick up the blitz.
He'll have to be big in that area as well."

Jackson, who led the NFL in yards from scrimmage last year, will be on the
sideline Sunday at Texas Stadium, ready to provide counsel for Leonard.

"You have to see what their defense is trying to do and their game plan,"
Jackson said. "If he has any questions or any doubts, hopefully I can be an
extra pair of eyes."