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  1. #1
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    Rams have plenty of starters on growing injury list

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/28/2005

    When a reporter asked him last week about the dearth of injuries this season, Rams coach Mike Martz responded with feigned anger. "Are you trying to jinx us?" he shot back. "Next question . . . next question . . . "

    Jinx or not, the injury report the team compiled Wednesday easily was the longest so far. Nine players were listed, and seven missed at least part of the first practice since Sunday's victory.

    Two starters, running back Steven Jackson (chest) and safety Michael Hawthorne (ankle), were categorized as "questionable." Under NFL guidelines, that means their chances of playing Sunday against the Giants at New York are 50-50.

    Jackson said his sore sternum was "feeling OK." Martz termed Jackson "day-to-day. We've got several of those guys." That includes Hawthorne, but he appeared to have little difficulty running and cutting on his own Wednesday.

    The "probable" group comprised quarterback Marc Bulger (ribs), cornerback Terry Fair (neck), defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy (illness), tight end and fullback Brandon Manumaleuna (knee) and guard Tom Nutten (toe). Bulger and Fair took part in all drills Wednesday.

    Bulger said that his ribs were bruised in the season opener Sept. 11 at San Francisco but that he kept quiet about it. "I'm not stupid enough to tell the trainers or anyone that I have sore ribs," said Bulger, who has been sacked a league-high 15 times. "Now that it's out ... they're a little bit sore."

    Tackle Rex Tucker (calf), who hasn't played since the opener, was "doubtful," although he said he wouldn't be ready by Sunday. "Next week, hopefully," Tucker said, crossing fingers on both hands.

    Of greatest concern is the "turf toe" injury suffered by wide receiver Isaac Bruce late in the first half vs. the Titans. Bruce also was "doubtful," indicating a 75 percent chance that he won't suit up.

    Martz said Bruce's availability might not be determined until Sunday morning. "The capsule (on his left big toe) was not torn; it's just swollen," Martz said. "If Isaac's ready to go, he'll be ready to go. But we'll talk to him every day and just see how it is."

    Kevin Curtis would step in for Bruce with the first unit, as he did last Sunday in the second half. Curtis caught four passes for 54 yards, including a 10-yard go- ahead touchdown, in the last 30 minutes.

    The Rams' passing-game approach wouldn't be altered if Bruce were out and Curtis were in, Bulger said. "There are a lot of things that Isaac brings to our team that we'll miss: route-running, blocking, just being that leader out there," Bulger said. "So, we'll miss him if he can't go. But Kevin knows what he's doing. ... There are different things that Kevin does better than Isaac."

    That's a very short list, Curtis emphasized. "I'm definitely not Isaac. I'd say almost everything he does is better than I do," Curtis said. But he wouldn't deny that he'd favor himself in a race.

    "I don't want to say Isaac's slow, by any means," Curtis said. "But that's probably one of my biggest strengths, my speed."

    Preparing to start, Curtis said, varies little from his usual role. "Every week I've got to be ready anyway if Isaac does go down," he said. "I've just got to make sure I'm on top of it."

    If Nutten can't go Sunday, rookie Claude Terrell probably would step into the lineup. Converted safety Mike Furrey probably would be Hawthorne's stand-in, and rookie Madison Hedgecock would see more playing time in Manumaleuna's absence.


  2. #2
    cowboyhater's Avatar
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    Questionable

    Two starters, running back Steven Jackson (chest) and safety Michael Hawthorne (ankle), were categorized as "questionable." Under NFL guidelines, that means their chances of playing Sunday against the Giants at New York are 50-50.

    Has anyone ever done a study to determine what percentage of players categorized as "questionable" end up playing? I betcha its a heckuva lot higher than 50%. How can you make a team adhere to that?

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    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Rams have plenty of starters on growing injury list

    If Nutten can't go Sunday, rookie Claude Terrell probably would step into the lineup. Converted safety Mike Furrey probably would be Hawthorne's stand-in, and rookie Madison Hedgecock would see more playing time in Manumaleuna's absence.
    Terrell for Nutten, Furrey for Hawthorne, and Hedgecock for Manu......yea, I can live with that. Add to that Curtis for Bruce, and Jackson ready to go, I think we're fine.
    "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

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    Re: Rams have plenty of starters on growing injury list

    I Think We Will Be Fine. Bad News On Nutten, Hes Such A Warrior, I Want To See Him Make It Through The Season, But That Toe Been Giving Him Trouble For A Long Time.

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