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Rams contemplate 'Skins game minus their top tackles
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
In just six games as Rams interim head coach, Joe Vitt already has gone parts of five games without starting quarterback Marc Bulger.
He has gone two games without Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce available at wide receiver and two games without his best defensive player, end Leonard Little.
Last week, he started a secondary that included two rookies, a converted wide receiver and a third-year player (Chris Johnson) making his first NFL start.
That's not even taking into consideration all the off-the-field drama this season at Rams Park. So not much else can happen, right?
Well, try playing a game without either of your starting offensive tackles. Doesn't that make Vitt just the least bit nervous?
"We're pretty weather-beaten right now," Vitt said. "Nothing surprises you. So no, I'm not (nervous). This team's responded well to adversity. They take everything very seriously, so we're going to play the hand we're dealt. That's all we can do."
Although right tackle Alex Barron is listed as doubtful, Vitt ruled him out of this week's game against Washington following Wednesday's practice.
"Alex Barron's going to need surgery," Vitt said. "He'll be in a cast the rest of the year. We won't have him for this week, but we'll have him for the following week."
Barron suffered ligament damage in his thumb in the second half of Sunday's 33-27 victory over Houston but kept playing and finished the game.
"Just blocking one play, it kind of got caught up a little bit," Barron said. "I came to the sideline and checked it out, and something was wrong with it."
Barron, the Rams' first-round draft pick in April, had started the past eight games. Despite problems with penalties, he has stabilized a position that had been a problem.
Barron said he was scheduled for surgery today.
"It's a little disappointing," Barron said. "Nobody ever wants to have surgery or anything like that. But it's just one of those things you've got to take care of."
Left tackle Orlando Pace, meanwhile, sat out practice Wednesday and was listed as probable with hamstring and hip injuries.
"I think (Pace) is going to be fine," Vitt said. "We're going to give him a little bit of time off. He may come out and get some stuff in (Thursday) afternoon."
But there are no guarantees. Pace entered the Houston game with just the hamstring injury and left shortly before halftime with an aggravated hamstring plus the hip injury.
In practice Wednesday, Rex Tucker worked with the starting unit at right tackle, and Matt Morgan was at left tackle. Morgan was on the practice squad until last week.
Blaine Saipaia started two games at right tackle this season and seven games there last season. He still suffers from a concussion he received against Arizona on Nov. 20, didn't practice Wednesday and has yet to be cleared for contact work.
Re: Rams contemplate 'Skins game minus their top tackles
I just hope Pace can play, other wise it will be a long day for the offense.JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS
"HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"Adm. William "Bull" Halsey