Rams Notebook: Defensive tackles depleted

11 hours ago BY JIM THOMAS

After missing the entire 2011 season because of back surgery, defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo could find himself in the Rams' starting lineup Sunday in Detroit.

Following Wednesday's practice at Rams Park, the team issued its first official injury report of the season. Only three players were listed, and they all are defensive tackles: first-round draft pick Michael Brockers (ankle), four-year veteran Darell Scott (knee) and undrafted rookie Matthew Conrath (knee) all did not practice.

That left the Rams with only three healthy defensive tackles: Kendall Langford, Cudjo and Kellen Heard. Heard was claimed on waivers from Buffalo over the weekend. Conrath's status for the Lions is uncertain, but Scott and Brockers won't play.

Cudjo, who joined the Rams in 2010 as a rookie free agent from Central Oklahoma, entered this year's camp as a roster longshot. But Trevor Laws missed most of camp with a knee injury and was placed on injured reserve, then came the other injuries. Even so, Cudjo came on strong as the preseason progressed and played his way into a roster spot.

Returning to practice Wednesday were right guard Harvey Dahl, who missed the last two preseason games with a leg infection; safety Darian Stewart, who has missed most of camp and the preseason with a hamstring issue; and defensive end Eugene Sims (ankle).


Coach Jeff Fisher said the Rams liked Baylor running back Terrance Ganaway, whom they claimed on waivers Saturday from the New York Jets, entering the 2012 draft.

"Yes we did," Fisher said. "We had him on the board, too, as a matter of fact. ... We had a draftable grade on him.

"He's a big, strong back and he did a nice job there in that (Baylor) offense. When most of the attention went to (wide receiver) Kendall Wright, and the quarterback (Robert Griffin III), he quietly did a nice job there over a period of time."

Offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe wasn't on the Rams' draft board, because he'd been playing Arena League football for the past four years before joining Indianapolis this summer during training camp. But the Rams claimed him off waivers Sunday following his release by the Colts.

"He played well all preseason," Fisher said. "I feel like he's got some rare athletic ability, and technique-wise and (with) all the tape we looked at, we felt like he might have a chance."

Nsekhe (pronounced En-seck-EE) must have made a good impression on Aug. 12, when he played the entire fourth quarter at tackle for the Colts in their preseason game against the Rams.


Even though he's working on his third offense and third offensive coordinator in three NFL seasons, quarterback Sam Bradford said he's more confident entering the 2012 season than he was a year ago.

"Yes, no doubt," he said. "Obviously, going through the offseason this year and having the time to spend time with the guys in OTAs and mini-camp. And then coming back for training camp, already having seen things. I think everyone just feels better about where we're at as an offense and the things that we've seen together on the practice field."


The Rams are considering both rookie Rokevious Watkins and four-year veteran Robert Turner for the starting left guard spot created when Quinn Ojinnaka was released Sunday.

Wide receiver Brandy Harvey, who was on the Rams' camp roster for 13 days in August before getting waived, has been signed to the practice squad. He took the eighth and final spot.

Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui's wild week began Sunday when he was cut by the Rams. After clearing waivers, he was added to Washington's practice squad. On Wednesday he was signed to New England's active roster.