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Rams appear healthy, ready for Seahawks
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
The bye week did wonders for the Rams' injury list.
Wide receiver Torry Holt and his sprained knee were on the practice field Monday for the first time since mid-October.
Wide receiver Isaac Bruce took part in his first team drills since suffering a turf toe injury Sept. 25 against Tennessee.
Quarterback Marc Bulger threw his first passes in practice since suffering a sprained shoulder Oct. 17 against Indianapolis.
Rookie left guard Claude Terrell, who had moved up to the starting lineup against Indianapolis and New Orleans before suffering a sprained neck against the Saints, took his regular turn in practice.
On defense, cornerback Travis Fisher (groin) and cornerback Chris Johnson (back) appeared ready to play.
"We're probably about as healthy right now as we've been all year long," interim head coach Joe Vitt said.
In addition, defensive end Leonard Little, who missed the past two games following the shooting death of his brother, practiced for the first time since Oct. 15.
"We're getting a lot of the key pieces back this week," Terrell said. "That's going to be a big boost for us. Any time you get Marc, Torry, and Isaac back, that's an All-Star roster in itself."
Just in time for Sunday's NFC West showdown with Seattle.
"We're going into this game with all our ammo now," Johnson said.
Well, maybe. After the Rams' returned from their bye week with a rare Monday practice, Vitt stopped short of saying Bruce and Holt definitely would be back in the lineup against the Seahawks.
When asked about Bruce's status, Vitt said: "He was out there (Monday) and he did some real positive things. It's going to be an ongoing process. We just have to wait and see how it goes."
"Same thing," Vitt said. "He did some good things."
Although Terrell probably won't know for sure about his neck until he has a collision with somebody, there seems to be no doubt about the status of the rest of the Rams.
"Chris (Johnson) is fine; 'Fish' (Fisher) is fine," Vitt said. "Leonard came back and had a heck of a day for us."
The same goes for Bulger, who threw the ball well in Monday's 1 1/2-hour session at the Rams Park indoor facility.
"Marc looked good out there," center Andy McCollum said. "He looked real good out there. It's good to have him back in the huddle. Hopefully, we'll have all our other guys back, too."
Monday's workout was a half-hour shorter than the Rams' mid-week workouts, so neither Holt nor Bruce got a lot of work during team practice periods. It may take another day or two of practice to get a clear read on their condition.
The week's first official injury report doesn't come out until Wednesday, which is when the Rams return to practice after taking their normal day off today.
According to one Rams coach, the original target date all along for Bruce's return was after the bye week, although the team never announced that time frame. Turf toe injuries, which involve a sprain of the joint in the big toe, can linger, particularly if a player tries to come back too soon.
"Ike's still working back," wide receiver Shaun McDonald said Monday. "He looked good today, though. He looked like he's right there; right around the corner. So I wouldn't be surprised if both of them (Bruce and Holt) were in the lineup."
Neither Bruce, Holt, Bulger nor Little were made available to the media Monday.
Little, who still leads the team in sacks with four despite missing two games, looked as quick as ever during pass rush drills Monday. When asked what it meant to have Little back in the lineup, Vitt replied: "What do you think? The guy's a playmaker. He presents problems for anybody's pass protection. They have to account for him every time. He's great in pursuing the run. So it's huge."
Little lost some weight during his absence from football. According to team sources, he ate little, if anything for several days following the death of his brother Jermaine. But he has since gained back most of that weight.
"He's just down a few pounds," defensive line coach Bill Kollar said. "We thought initially that he had dropped more (weight) than he did. He's really only down a few pounds; not too bad at all."
Johnson, who suffered his back injury returning a kickoff against New Orleans, says he will be back to returning kickoffs against Seattle. In the Rams' first meeting with the Seahawks, Oct. 9 in the Edward Jones Dome, Johnson returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.
Re: Rams appear healthy, ready for Seahawks
Thats good news for you guys.
And it won't be an excuse for losing now right?
Just teasin'NFC West Champions Again in 2005
Re: Rams appear healthy, ready for Seahawks
No, but we need to stop Jurevicious from having another career day.
Re: Rams appear healthy, ready for SeahawksOriginally Posted by txramsfan"Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod