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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams' Archuleta played part of year with herniated disc

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Feb. 18 2005

    Adam Archuleta got some jarring news when he visited a back specialist in San
    Francisco in late January. Namely, that he had played at least part of the 2004
    season with a herniated disc in his back.

    At least that was the diagnosis of Jeff Saal, a nationally recognized expert in
    non-surgical treatment for back injuries.
    Archuleta's reaction was part disappointment.

    "I'm dealing with kind of a career (threatening) deal," Archuleta said. "A
    back, if not taken care of, can cause serious problems. I'm kind of scared. But
    at the same time, I'm kind of amazed that I was actually able to play strong
    safety with this type of deal going on."
    For that reason, Archuleta's reaction was also part relief.

    "I (thought), 'Well at least I'm not crazy,'" Archuleta said. "I know it wasn't
    just a figment of my imagination all season. In a way, it made me feel better
    about what I was going through."
    Initial test results, done early in the 2004 season, showed that Archuleta had
    a bulging disc in the back. While nothing to laugh at, a bulging disc isn't as
    serious as a herniated disc.
    "At the time, I was told that it was not a big deal," Archuleta said. "That it
    was a typical football player's back. That I had the same thing that Marshall
    (Faulk) had. The same thing that Torry (Holt) had. The same thing that Rich
    (Coady) had. So I asked those guys how they were feeling. And they were like,
    fine."
    Because they still were playing, Archuleta figured he should do the same.

    "I was still able to go out there and play, albeit not at the level that I or
    anybody else expected me to play at," Archuleta said.
    As a result, Archuleta probably hurt his reputation as a player. He was limited
    to nickel and dime back duty in October games in San Francisco and Seattle, but
    otherwise kept playing.
    "It was a weird and bad situation to be in," Archuleta said. "You feel like you
    have an obligation to your team, and your teammates. And at what point, when
    you're not 100 percent, do you say, 'I can't play?' I've never been faced with
    that in my career."
    It is now clear, according to Saal's evaluation, that Archuleta's back
    deteriorated as the season progressed. Archuleta has been undergoing treatment
    from Saal, who is based at Stanford University Hospital, since shortly after
    the Rams' playoff loss to Atlanta.
    Archuleta received an epidural shot of medication on Feb. 2, and received
    another epidural on Wednesday.
    "Adam's made tremendous strides over the last couple weeks," said his agent,
    Gary Wichard. "So we're hoping for another big quantum leap in the next two
    weeks."
    There are no more scheduled epidurals, just more treatment and rehabilitation
    before gradually getting back to a normal schedule of offseason workouts and
    conditioning.
    "Now it's just a question of trying to keep him corralled," Wichard said. "He
    wants to work out. He's feeling good. But he's got to stay fairly inactive the
    next couple weeks, and then start back into his (workout) program."
    Surgery is not being contemplated, and Archuleta scoffed at the suggestion that
    his playing status might be clouded for the 2005 season.
    "C'mon," Archuleta said. "I trust Dr. Saal. I trust his medical expertise. He
    fully expects me to be 100 percent and ready to go, and never have a back
    problem again as long as I'm playing - as long as we do the right things, and I
    don't take any steps back.
    "It's just a matter of giving my disc a chance to heal. I will be back
    physically better than I've ever been. Trust me on that. ... There's a lot of
    things going on other than the obvious fact that 'Arch' didn't make as many
    plays as he used to. Just relax a bit."
    In the midst of the back treatments, Archuleta learned this week that he is
    being switched to free safety. (With Pisa Tinoisamoa being switched to strong
    safety from linebacker.)
    "I haven't really had a chance to mull it over much," Archuleta said. Then he
    added with a laugh, "Hey, whatever (the coaches) say. As long as I'm physically
    where I need to be, and I feel good mentally, it doesn't matter where they put
    me. It's too early to worry about that stuff."
    Because he played linebacker in college, pass coverage has been something
    Archuleta has had to work on after being switched to strong safety in the NFL.
    In theory, the free safety position involves even more coverage
    responsibilities than strong safety.
    "The thing that I need to work on, and the thing that I need to improve on that
    will help me get to the next level, isn't my coverage," Archuleta said.
    "Because I rarely if ever get beat. It's just a matter of making a play on the
    ball."
    Archuleta isn't an excuse maker, so that's only a slight exaggeration. He
    frequently was in position to make plays last season, but didn't.
    "Obviously, I had a couple opportunities last year," he said. "I had a couple
    dropped balls. I need to start learning how to play the ball, and break on the
    ball instead of the man, and start shifting my eye focus from the receiver to
    the ball."


  2. #2
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Archuleta played part of year with herniated disc

    I'm dealing with kind of a career (threatening) deal," Archuleta said. "A back, if not taken care of, can cause serious problems. I'm kind of scared.
    I would be scared too. Back injuries are not happy things, all though it appears they are fairly common for football players.

    "Now it's just a question of trying to keep him corralled," Wichard said. "He wants to work out. He's feeling good. But he's got to stay fairly inactive the next couple weeks, and then start back into his (workout) program."
    I could imagine that corralling Archuleta would be very difficult. Just sit there and do nothing, alright. You can do that right? Right.

    "C'mon," Archuleta said. "I trust Dr. Saal. I trust his medical expertise. He fully expects me to be 100 percent and ready to go, and never have a back problem again as long as I'm playing - as long as we do the right things, and I don't take any steps back. "It's just a matter of giving my disc a chance to heal.
    I am hoping that it can heal and Archuleta will be back to 100%. It's just a matter of giving it a chance to heal, right Arch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Archuleta on playing FS
    "The thing that I need to work on, and the thing that I need to improve on that will help me get to the next level, isn't my coverage," Archuleta said. "Because I rarely if ever get beat. It's just a matter of making a play on the ball."

    Archuleta isn't an excuse maker, so that's only a slight exaggeration. He frequently was in position to make plays last season, but didn't. "Obviously, I had a couple opportunities last year," he said. "I had a couple dropped balls. I need to start learning how to play the ball, and break on the ball instead of the man, and start shifting my eye focus from the receiver to the ball."
    All this negative response to Archuleta changing positions is no doubt feeding his fire and creating desire for him to excel at Free Safety. I could see him making the move successfully as long as his back does not continue to be a problem. If he can learn to play the ball and not the man, at the oppropriate times, he may be able to grab himself some interceptions.

    There are a lot of "ifs" related to Archuleta this year. It will interesting to see how the "ifs" turn out.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Archuleta played part of year with herniated disc

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith
    "It was a weird and bad situation to be in," Archuleta said. "You feel like you
    have an obligation to your team, and your teammates. And at what point, when
    you're not 100 percent, do you say, 'I can't play?' I've never been faced with
    that in my career."
    I'm sure a phonecall to Kyle Turley could get Arch an answer to this question.
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
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  4. #4
    psycho9985's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Archuleta played part of year with herniated disc

    I dont Know how guys like Adam can keep playing with that kind of injury.I've had back problems before and couldnt play with a puppy.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams' Archuleta played part of year with herniated disc

    As bad as that D was last year, they should have rested him!
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

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