Monday, October 29, 2007

By Nick Wagoner
Senior Writer

Steven Jackson’s return to the starting lineup provided plenty of hope
and a large spark for an offense in desperate need of it. But that was
short lived as Jackson didn’t make it out of the first quarter because
of back spasms.

On Monday, Jackson had the back evaluated and it was revealed that he
has a bulging disc in his back.

“It is treatable and we are optimistic for his return even as soon as
New Orleans,” coach Scott Linehan said. “It’s good timing we have the
bye this week for him. Certainly I would think he wouldn’t be able to
play this week if that were the case.”

Jackson indicated after the game that the injury to the back might be
correlated to the groin injury that kept him out for four games prior
to the Cleveland game.

“I don’t know if anybody knows if there’s any connection,” Linehan
said. “Usually bulging discs develop over time and they are treatable
though. It’s not herniation and all of that, it’s not that. It’s a
bulge and can be treated. Normally the prognosis is usually pretty good
as far as being back in a couple of weeks.”

Linehan and the Rams are holding out hope that Jackson will be OK in
time for the game against the Saints on Nov. 11.

Linehan indicated Jackson will have it medicated and sit out the two
practices this week. Then he will be evaluated in time for the
beginning of next week and another round of practice.

Clearly, the Rams would like to have Jackson healthy in time for the
game against New Orleans especially considering the difference he made
for the offense in his cameo against the Browns.

Jackson rushed for 41 yards on eight carries with the team’s first
rushing touchdown of the season against Cleveland.

“We think he’s a special player,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson
said. “He was a special player a year ago. He’s a special player this
year, we’ve got to find a way to keep him healthy and keep him out
here. If you have someone with Steven Jackson’s ability, you’re going
to miss those anytime he’s not in there. He’s arguably the best player
on our team.”