Rams' Jackson still ready to run
By R.B. Fallstrom
The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS - Steven Jackson is looking forward to an encore of last week's career-best 148-yard game despite a right knee that has a partially torn ligament and a bruise.
The St. Louis Rams might need it on Sunday in the season finale.
``I'm hoping I can do the same thing I did on Monday night,'' the former Oregon State star said Thursday. ``Coming off a game like that, kind of hot, you want to get out there and see if you have the same things going for you.''
But coach Mike Martz said Marshall Faulk again would start Sunday against the Jets (10-5) in a game that carries playoff implications for both teams. Faulk and Jackson were together in the backfield on the second play of a 20-7 victory over the Eagles on Monday, and the pair combined for 202 yards on 41 carries.
Faulk has 759 yards rushing and a 4.0-yard average and Jackson, the first running back taken in this year's draft, has 644 yards and a 5.2-yard average. Faulk's streak of receptions ended at 158 games in the Eagles game - the streak had led active players.
``It kind of tickles me in some respect that people were always on me about making sure Marshall got the ball,'' Martz said. ``Now we don't want Marshall to have the ball, we want Steven to have the ball.
``I understand that, but Marshall is a good player and he's going to start and continue to do the things we always do.''
Jackson was injured in the fourth quarter. An MRI exam the following day showed just a bruise with limited swelling.
When Jackson first injured the knee three weeks ago, a considerable amount of fluid was drained the next day.
``It shocked him,'' Martz said. ``I think it scared him more than anything else because of the way it happened, but it's just a superficial bruise, really.''
The Rams can clinch the NFC West with a victory and a loss by the Seattle Seahawks (8-7) later Sunday. They also can clinch a wild-card berth with a victory combined with a loss by the Vikings (8-7), or with a victory along with a tie in the Saints-Panthers game that starts at the same time as the St. Louis-New York game.
``It kind of sums the season,'' Jackson said. ``Ups and downs, and through all of it we still have a chance to come out victorious and hopefully with a division title.''