Thursday, September 30, 2004

By Nick Wagoner
Staff Writer

A series of injuries and recoveries will alter the look of the Rams for this week’s game against San Francisco.

Coach Mike Martz announced the additions and subtractions to the injury list Wednesday. Some of the news was good, but not all of it was positive.

Starting left guard Chris Dishman, who hyperextended his knee in the game against New Orleans, is listed as questionable for Sunday’s tilt. He sat out Wednesday’s practice and will probably be limited for most of the week, Martz said. Dishman had an MRI on the knee earlier this week and it revealed no damage.

“There was no damage to the capsule or the ligaments or the muscle,” Martz said. “It was just a strained capsule, so we should be able to get him back in short order. Just how soon, I don’t know. How much he can do this week, he will probably be limited.”

Running back Arlen Harris suffered a strained hamstring in the game against the Saints and is listed as questionable. Martz said Harris should be ready to go against the *****.

Linebacker Tony Newson has a grade two-ankle sprain and he is questionable also.

On the bright side, cornerback DeJuan Groce and linebacker Trev Faulk are expected back from injuries. Groce sprained his knee against Atlanta and missed the Saints game. Faulk has battled a hamstring injury since preseason, but tore it in the season opener against Arizona.

Groce’s return means that Aeneas Williams will return to free safety after spending a game at his original cornerback position. Groce will likely start opposite Jerametrius Butler at corner and Williams will replace Rich Coady, who started in his old spot last week.

KENNEDY UPDATE: Defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy, who missed the preseason and the first three games of the regular season because of a broken ankle, had it evaluated in Charlotte, N.C. on Wednesday.

Kennedy was the Rams No. 1 draft pick in last year’s draft (No. 12 overall), but struggled in his rookie season. He showed signs of improvement early in training camp, arriving with improved strength and better conditioning. That improvement was stunted, though, when Kennedy injured the ankle.

“We should have a pretty good idea now of how far away he is and when we can get him back,” Martz said. “He has done a pretty good job of keeping his weight down, for a guy that is big naturally it’s kind of natural to let your weight get away from you. He has worked out real hard.”

Kennedy’s original diagnosis had him out for eight to 12 weeks, which could put him back sometime in October at the earliest.

QB CONFUSION: There is a little uncertainty about who is going to start at quarterback for San Francisco this week. *****’ coach Dennis Erickson said in a conference call Wednesday that Ken Dorsey is the likely starter, but Martz said he expects Tim Rattay to get the nod.

Rattay was the opening game starter, but suffered a separated right (throwing) shoulder and missed the past two games. He is attempting to make it back in time for the game against the Rams, but might not be ready according to Erickson.

“Hopefully he (Rattay) can get healthy, but Ken is the quarterback at this point,” Erickson said.

Dorsey said he was unsure of his status, but he made it sound like Martz is going to be correct with his assumption.

“I’m not sure, that’s something that coach is going to address,” Dorsey said. “We are just kind of plugging along. I think if Tim’s ready to go, he’ll go.