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Rams Notebook: Brown hobbled by ankle
Rams Notebook: Brown hobbled by ankle
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Nagging soreness in cornerback Fakhir Brown's right ankle is hobbling the Rams' plans for Sunday's game at Green Bay.
On Friday, Brown was downgraded to questionable from probable on the injury report. That means Brown's chance of suiting up vs. the Packers is 50-50.
"It just hasn't responded," said Brown, who has been nursing the injury for a couple of weeks. Coach Scott Linehan said Brown "got steadily worse through the week" and was unable to practice much Thursday and Friday.
If Brown can't play, former starter Jerametrius Butler will be on the 45-man game-day roster for the first time this season, Linehan said. On Friday, Butler got his first work with the regular defense since before the final preseason game.
Butler started at right cornerback in 2003 and 2004 before a knee injury sidelined him last season. He could move into the lineup in Brown's spot; other candidates are rookie Tye Hill and Ron Bartell.
Hill, a first-round draft pick, has played more this season, although Bartell spent considerable time with the first unit in practice Thursday and Friday.
"I don't know what they plan on doing," Bartell said. "If the opportunity's there, I'm going to take it; I'm not going to shy away from it. ... Hopefully, Fakhir is healthy enough to play. But if not, if my number's called, I'll be ready."
Hill, the fifth defensive back in the nickel alignment, usually backs up Travis Fisher on the left side. Still, he said he figured that he would get the nod if Brown is out. "I'll be ready," Hill said. "Somebody's got to fill in the slack. That would have to be me."
Not necessarily, Linehan said. "As far as who starts ... we've got to talk about it as a staff," he said. "We hadn't really planned on this."
Left tackle Orlando Pace (concussion) remained questionable, but Linehan said he was optimistic that the seven-time Pro Bowler would be ready to go Sunday after sitting out last week's game.
"He's felt good all week," Linehan said. "We'll evaluate how he feels (today) and how he feels game day. ... I don't see that there would be any problem. But I didn't think he'd have a problem last time, either. So, we'll just kind of play that one by ear."
Fullback Paul Smith can recall only one other hit in his seven-year career similar to the wedge-busting, head-on collision he had Sunday with Detroit's Frank Davis. It occurred in 2003, when Smith was with the Lions and going against San Diego.
"I got up from that one," he said. "I went to the sideline, and I could feel both my eyes kind of jiggling around. But I got some smelling salts and ... played the rest of the game."
Smith wasn't so fortunate this time. He suffered a concussion and a couple of small fractures near his left eye. He was hospitalized Sunday night, as was Davis, who had a minor neck injury.
Linehan said Smith probably would be sidelined until after the team's bye Oct. 22. Madison Hedgecock will start at fullback, and newcomer Isaiah Kacyvenski will be added to the special-teams lineup.
Kacyvenski, signed Tuesday after being released by Seattle, assured that he was prepared to step in, even after only three days of practice with the Rams.
"I've been around special teams so long, I'm going to adjust quickly," said Kacyvenski, who was the Seahawks' special-teams captain. "Special teams are my passion; I can come right in and play. When I hit that field, I'm having fun, no matter what I'm doing.
Defensive end Leonard Little has been fined $5,000 as a result of his roughing-the-passer penalty Sunday. Officially, he was cited for "striking the quarterback in the knee area.' ... Parkway North's Bob Bunton is the Rams' high school coach of the week after the Vikings (5-0) beat Eureka 37-30. The Rams Foundation and NFL Charities will make a $1,000 donation to the school's football program.