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Rams Notebook: Full roster available for Sunday
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
As the NFL season progresses, teams' injury reports tend to grow. "Everybody's kind of going through that middle-of-the-season injury bug," Rams coach Scott Linehan noted. "That's why the bye, when you get it, you hopefully can take advantage of it and try to get as healthy as possible."
That appears to be the case for the Rams. Barring any problems at practice this week, they should go into Sunday's game at San Diego with all hands on deck.
First-team cornerback Fakhir Brown, out for two games with a sprained right ankle, "didn't miss one rep" Monday, Linehan reported, in the team's first practice since Wednesday.
Also, Madison Hedgecock practiced with a cast on his surgically repaired right thumb, which he broke Oct. 15 against Seattle. And fellow fullback Paul Smith is expected back Wednesday after missing two games because of fractures and muscle damage near his left eye.
Linehan said Brown probably would start at right cornerback vs. the Chargers. "As long as he's able to go full speed, I don't see any reason why that wouldn't be the case," Linehan said. "But we're going to have to see how he feels Wednesday and Thursday."
Brown was hurt Sept. 24 at Arizona. He played the following week against Detroit, "and that made it worse," he said. The pain spread to his heel. "It really wasn't like it was a big sprain," Brown said. "But playing corner, you can't be out there limping."
Fledgling center Richie Incognito figures to encounter his stiffest test to date when he goes against San Diego's Jamal Williams, a 6-foot-3, 348-pound Pro Bowl nose tackle.
"He's a game-wrecker," Incognito said. "Every game I've watched him, he's just a great ballplayer. It's going to be a challenge."
Incognito, 6-3 and 305, was the Rams' starting left guard in the season opener against Denver. He shifted to center when veteran Andy McCollum suffered a season-ending knee injury vs. the Broncos.
Williams anchors the Chargers' 3-4 defense, which is yielding just 241.2 yards per game, the best average in the NFL. But the Chargers apparently will be without two key cogs on that unit, end Igor Olshansky (knee) and linebacker Shawne Merriman (suspension).
Learning a position he'd never played in a game, even in college at Nebraska, is "an ongoing thing," Incognito said. "It's tough, because I wasn't (at center) in training camp and I wasn't preparing for all the defenses. Every week we get a new look from some other team, so it's kind of like getting acquainted each week."
The biggest difference between guard and center is the amount of space in which to work. At center, "I've got a guy right head up over me," Incognito explained. "At guard, you can get two or three steps in before you make contact."
Linehan spent his free Sunday watching football, but not NFL games. Instead, he watched two of his sons — 11-year-old Matt and 10-year-old Michael — with their little league teams in Chesterfield.
"It's something I don't get to do very often," Linehan said. "It was a lot of fun for me."
The Rams will resume their normal schedule with a day off today before resuming practice Wednesday. . . . During the bye, Rams running back Steven Jackson (745) fell to No. 2 in the league in yards from scrimmage behind Philadelphia back Brian Westbrook (795). Westbrook, though, has played in seven games to Jackson's six.
Re: Rams Notebook: Full roster available for Sunday
Does anyone know where jackson stands now in rushing??Built RAM tough