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Jackson To Report; Pace Questionable For Saturday
By Howard Balzer
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
On the same day Rams tackle Orlando Pace did not practice for the third time since participating in 39 plays Saturday night, No. 39, running back Steven Jackson, decided to end his 27-day holdout.
Contrary to some reports that claimed Jackson was already in St. Louis, he is flying to St. Louis tonight from his Las Vegas home. There have also been reports that agent Eugene Parker will come to St. Louis to continue negotiating Jackson's new contract, but that is not believed to be the case. It is known that Rams general manager Jay Zygmunt and Parker were talking seriously Wednesday afternoon.
"It's good faith on both sides," Zygmunt said.
On July 24, the night before the first practice of training camp, the Rams made an offer to Jackson worth more than $7 million a year and that included around $18 million in guaranteed money. The following day, without making a counteroffer, Parker rejected the offer and informed the Rams Jackson would not report for training camp. The Rams responded by saying there would be no more negotiations until Jackson reported.
That's where things stood until Jackson's decision today to report. He is expected to take a physical Thursday and possibly practice. However, there is also the chance the Rams would wait until after Saturday's game to activate Jackson from the reserve/did not report list. Currently, he does not count against the 80-player roster limit. If he is reinstated Thursday, the Rams would have to release another player, someone that could be needed for the game against the Ravens.
The Rams are somewhat hamstrung by NFL rules that require teams, prior to mandated cutdown dates, to place non-vested players (those with three or less credited seasons) on injured waivers before placing them on injured reserve in order for them not to count against the 80-man roster. That's why cornerback Justin King (toe surgery) and guard Mark Setterstrom (fractured kneecap) still count against the 80-man roster. If they were placed on injured waivers, another team could claim them.
Unless the Rams plan to play Jackson Saturday night, there is no reason to return him to the roster before then. Thursday is the last practice of the week, with Friday only being a walk-through. It is also likely that Jackson wouldn't want to practice or play until the new deal is done.
As for the contract, one Rams source said, "It can't take very long." Assuming it doesn't, it would further illustrate the folly of Jackson's holdout, since a deal likely would have happened just as quickly had he reported for the start of camp or at least earlier than now.
Starting Thursday, there are only three practices prior to the preparation week for the first game against Philadelphia on Sept. 7.
PACE OUT AGAIN
Tackle Orlando Pace is now considered questionable for Saturday night's game against Baltimore after missing his third practice of the week Wednesday.
Coach Scott Linehan acknowledged that Pace's shoulder is sore after playing the entire first half Saturday night. However, Linehan also said if this was a regular-season weekend, Pace would play.
Said Linehan, "Right now he is questionable for this game for obvious reasons.”
In other injury news, wide receiver Dante Hall returned to practice after missing two days because of a sore hip. … Tight end Anthony Becht did some limited work in team segments. … Fullback Russ Weil (ankle) returned to practice. … Cornerback Fakhir Brown, who has not practiced since the first day of training camp, did individual drills, but nothing in team. … That was the same for center Brett Romberg (hand). … Safeties Oshiomogho Atogwe (hamstring) and Jerome Carter (groin), running back Brian Leonard (shoulder), and linebacker David Vobora (ankle) did not practice. … King had surgery last Friday, while Setterstrom underwent surgery Monday. Both are expected to be placed on injured reserve Tuesday when NFL rosters must be reduced to 75 players.
Wide receiver Torry Holt has practiced this week after missing last Saturday's game because of a tight back. Said Holt, "I still have some tightness, but I'm working at it every day, trying to stretch it out and get it loose."
Re: Jackson To Report; Pace Questionable For Saturday
After last seasons injury riddled team it's automatically: OH NO! HERE WE GO AGAIN!
However after slapping myself on the side of the head and taking a deep breath. I ask myself how many of these injuries would actually prevent a player from playing if we were in the regular season right now. Obviously the guys that have had surgery or are lined up for a surgical procedure are out.
Basically the nagging injuries I've been reading about are about par for the course I suspect.
Re: Jackson To Report; Pace Questionable For Saturday
I find it quite odd that we can't put our young guys who are still under contract onto the injured reserve list without putting them through waivers first. Where is the logic in that?
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