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    Rams hoping Johnson is well enough to play

    Rams hoping Johnson is well enough to play
    Friday, Oct. 04, 2013 p.m.
    By Joe Lyons, STL P-D


    As he left the practice field at Rams Park on Friday afternoon, head coach Jeff Fisher had a short visit with cornerback Trumaine Johnson.

    Johnson has been battling a virus and did not practice this week. Still, Fisher is hopeful the second-year pro will be able to suit up noon Sunday when the 1-3 Rams take on the 0-4 Jacksonville Jaguars at the Edward Jones Dome.

    “It’s going to be a challenge for him, particularly because he started feeling poorly over the weekend, so he really hasn't done much from a physical standpoint since last Thursday,’’ the coach said. “But, as I just mentioned to him, Walter Payton set the single-game rushing record with a 104 temperature against the Vikings.

    “The question is, does he know who Walter Payton is?’’

    One of the NFL’s greatest runners, Payton, of the Chicago Bears, ran for then-record 275 yards on Nov. 20, 1977.

    With starting safety T.J. McDonald on injured reserve with a lower-leg fracture and veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan missing practice this week with a hamstring injury, the Rams certainly could use a quick recovery from Johnson, who has played well as the team’s third cornerback. Through four games, the 23-year-old has 10 tackles, with two pass defenses and the squad’s lone interception.

    Another young cornerback to watch is rookie Brandon McGee, who practiced Friday after being limited with a thigh injury earlier in the week.

    “I’m definitely making progress, but it’s all about gaining experience,’’ said McGee, a fifth-round draft choice in April. “It’s a continuing process because you’re always working and learning and trying to get better.’’

    For the third consecutive week, right tackle Rodger Saffold has been ruled out with a knee injury. Johnson, Finnegan, defensive end William Hayes (knee) and defensive tackle Matt Conrath (concussion) were the other Rams who did not practice Friday.

    Hayes and Finnegan are doubtful for Sunday, with Johnson and Conrath questionable. Linebacker Will Witherspoon (hamstring) and McGee (thigh) took part in Friday’s practice and are probable.

    The Jaguars, who had 14 on their Thursday injury report, ruled out six players for Sunday. The list includes starting tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf), cornerback Dwayne Gratz (ankle) and safety Dwight Lowery (concussion) as well as reserve receivers Mike Brown (back) and Stephen Burton (concussion) and back-up defensive tackle Jeremy Mincey (concussion).

    In addition, wideout Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville’s top receiver this season with 26 catches and 337 yards, is questionable. Jaguars coach Gus Bradley has indicated that Shorts will play.


    ============================================

    Good IMPRESSION

    With Witherspoon sidelined, rookie free agent linebacker Ray Ray Armstrong was in on 16 plays with the defense and 28 more as a special-teams regular against San Francisco. He made three tackles and also recovered a fumble.
    “It felt great,’’ the 22-year-old Armstrong said. “It was an opportunity and I was just trying to take full advantage of it.’’

    A converted safety, Armstrong has progressed quickly. But he is still a work in progress.

    “He was physical. He was active, not necessarily correct, but he’s instinctive,’’ Fisher said. “So we have something there; we just have to bring him along.’’

    ============================================

    JAKE LONG FIGURINE

    The first 15,000 fans through the gates Sunday will receive a detailed Jake Long figurine. It’s part of the Long vs. Long series that will be completed Dec. 22, when the figurine of defensive end Chris Long is given out. This is the first such figurine series in the NFL.
    The Longs, who are not related, were the top two picks of the 2008 draft, with tackle Jake going No. 1 overall to the Miami Dolphins.

    “I saw it the other day. It’s pretty cool,’’ said Jake Long, a four-time Pro Bowler who signed a free agent contract with the Rams in the offseason. “I’ve never had a figurine of me before. It’s crazy. It’s a huge honor that the Rams would do that for me.’’

    Sunday will also mark the Rams’ annual Breast Cancer Awareness game.

    =============================================

    READY TO RUN

    Jake Long and the rest of the offensive line will be counted on Sunday as the Rams look to to re-establish the ground game against the Jaguars.

    Through four games, the Rams are tied for 29th in the NFL with 73 rushing attempts, tied for 30th in attempts per game (18.2), 32nd and in rushing yards (189) and tied for 30th in yards per carry (2.6).

    “As a lineman, you take pride in running the ball, knocking guys off the line and creating holes for the running backs; we have to take it upon ourselves to get that done,’’ Long said. “We haven’t run the ball well all season, but we’ve been working hard at it, trying to get it back on track.’’

    Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is striving for a balanced attack.

    “Obviously, there have been breakdowns in multiple areas,’’ he said. “There are plays that I could probably call better... Again, one of the things we’re talking about is being balanced and that’s what we’ve lacked the last few weeks. Some of it’s score; some of it’s just the inability to do things.

    “It’s got to get better and I think it will.’’


    =============================================

    RAM-BLINGS

    Linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar’s contract to re-sign with the Rams is worth $650,000 for the rest of the season. The deal also includes incentives tied to playing time.

    • Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins was fined $7,875 for a fourth-quarter facemask penalty against the *****’ Kendall Hunter last week.

    San Francisco defensive tackle Justin Smith, the ex-Mizzou star, was fined the same amount for grabbing the facemask of Sam Bradford in the game. The *****’ Donte Whitner - soon to be known at Hitner after legally changing his name - picked up a $21,000 fine for striking Rams’ receiver Chris Givens in the head.

    “I don’t necessarily know how clear the rules are about head contact, but it was a good hit,’’ Givens said. “The only thing he messed up on was bringing his shoulder straight to my head.’’


    Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.
    Last edited by RealRam; -10-06-2013 at 12:47 AM. Reason: Format


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    Re: Rams hoping Johnson is well enough to play

    TJ should know who Sweetness was! Must learn from the great players of the past too.


    On a different note, how about Givens calling the hit on him a 'good hit'? That's football integrity.

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    Re: Rams hoping Johnson is well enough to play

    Trumaine Johnson's virus situation reminded me of a flu illness that was around the Vikings of late November / early December, 1968.

    Sunday, Dec. 1 the Rams were at Vikings, several players were ill in both teams but they reported to work. Rams won in 33 F. cold and snowy weather, 31-3.

    Clic on image (needs browser zoom in):

    Rams hoping Johnson is well enough to play-rams-vikings-dec.-1968.jpg


    Virus, illness, flu, broken bones, etc., affect different people in different ways. But that day, Deacon Jones had a 102 fever and played a terrific game (among other Rams that were also under the weather).


    Maybe TJ deserves the benefit of doubt but it seems Coach Fisher "expects" him to report to work!
    Last edited by RealRam; -10-06-2013 at 02:51 AM. Reason: Article

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    Re: Rams hoping Johnson is well enough to play



    Anyone know if these -- Oyo Sports Toys -- are the figurines that the NFL is marketing this year? According to the P-D article, LT Jake Long will be the first Ram to have one made, then Chris Long in December. Too bad the Rams horn is distorted by the helmet paint design.



    See the Oyo page at: Oyosportstoys.com/Football/St-Louis-Rams/Jake-Long-Cornerback#.UlEHByQqjcs.


    One thing is for sure ... it will be MUCH more meaningful and memorable if the Rams WIN vs. Jags!
    Last edited by RealRam; -10-06-2013 at 02:48 AM. Reason: Oyo URL

  5. #5
    chucknbob is online now Registered User
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    Re: Rams hoping Johnson is well enough to play

    I hope Johnson is out there, but I don't want to see him pushed into the game if he's not ready and making mistakes.

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