Jackson has outside chance of playing

BY BILL COATS
Friday, September 16, 2011

The oversized stage of Monday night football awaits. But Rams running back Steven Jackson isn't sure that he'll be able to command his share of the spotlight.

"It's all predicated on how I feel on Monday," Jackson said Thursday after missing a second day of practice with a strained thigh. "We're definitely shooting to have an outside chance to be able to go. We all know this kind of injury; the rest is the thing that's going to be the key. Luckily we buy an extra day with the Monday night game."

Jackson was hurt Sunday while dashing 47 yards to the end zone on the Rams' first play from scrimmage this season. He came out after a 9-yard carry on the first snap of the Rams' next series and watched the rest of the 31-13 loss to Philadelphia from the sideline.

"It just kills me to know that my team needs me and I'm not able to be out there and answer the call," he said. "But we want to be smart. We know it's early in the season."

Still, would a part of Jackson like to throw caution to the wind and revel in the Monday night atmosphere at the Meadowlands?

"Yes and no," he said. "You definitely want to be out there, but I'll be the first one to tell you if it was just a Sunday regular game, it'd still kill me as much as it being a Monday night game.

"This is a big game. The Giants are going to come out really aggressive. This is their home opener. ... If Monday I feel good enough to go, I'm going to definitely try it. I understand that during the course of the year I'll have to take the field not feeling a hundred percent. Maybe it's Week Two instead of maybe Week 15."

While the rest of the team practiced, Jackson received treatment. "It's just all rehab," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "He's trying to fight through it. We'll see where he is at the end of the week, really is what it comes down to."

Spagnuolo said he trusts Jackson's judgment. "He's the only guy that knows. It's a day-by-day thing," Spagnuolo said.

It's never an easy decision with an injury, Jackson emphasized.

"It's being smart enough to know if you're going to hurt your team being on the field and not being a hundred percent," he said. "That's the call I have to comfortably make, and (Spagnuolo has) to be comfortable in making that decision. Me going puts someone else down (inactive), a special-teams guy or someone else. So, my decision trickles down."

Jackson conceded that in the past, he has played with injuries when he probably shouldn't have. "Absolutely," he said. "Two years ago it was a herniated disc for six games. Do I regret it? No ... no, I don't."

AMENDOLA UPDATE

His left arm encased in a bulky cast, wide receiver Danny Amendola was a spectator at practice Thursday. While acknowledging his eagerness to get back on the field, Amendola insisted that contrary to a report elsewhere, he hasn't been lobbying the doctors and coaches to play Monday.

"I haven't said anything," Amendola stressed.

Amendola dislocated his left elbow in the fourth quarter Sunday when he planted his hand on the turf to try to wheel past a defender.

"I've done that a hundred times, put my hand on the ground to try to get between guys," he said. "I put it down on the wrong angle and it got caught."

Amendola said he's "been healing really quick. I can catch, I can move it around. It's just a little bit of instability on the sides."

He vowed to be back 'soon enough." But not Monday.

"You put a timetable on Danny Amendola, he's going to make us all look wrong," Spagnuolo said. "He's a tough dude. But I think we'll be smart with this one."

OTHER INJURIES

Defensive end C.J. Ah You (wrist) also sat out practice. Getting limited work were quarterback Sam Bradford (finger), cornerback Bradley Fletcher (toe), eight Michael Hoomanawanui (calf), linebacker Josh Hull (hamstring) and tackle Jason Smith (ankle).

Fletcher, one of just four cornerbacks on the roster after Ron Bartell's season-ending neck injury, said he was "very optimistic" about playing against the Giants.