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Rams notebook: Knee injury fails to halt Holt's impressive season
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Not one to let a little thing like a torn knee ligament impede him, Rams wide receiver Torry Holt is cobbling together one of the best seasons of his already-noteworthy career.
Despite missing two games because of the injury, Holt ranks third in the NFL in catches (85) and is sixth in receiving yards (1,112). That projects to season totals of 108 receptions and 1,415 yards, which would compare to the best years he has had since entering the league in 1999 and perhaps earn his fourth Pro Bowl trip.
Holt's career highs were in 2003, when he had 117 catches and 1,696 yards. He hadn't missed a game before he was injured Oct. 9, against Seattle. He played the next week in Indianapolis with what originally was termed a bruised right knee, getting six catches for 70 yards.
But the knee felt unstable afterward, and Holt reported later that the injury had been diagnosed as a torn posterior cruciate ligament. He returned to practice in early November wearing a bulky brace and had just four catches for 45 yards at Seattle.
But in the four games since then, Holt has piled up 37 catches for 429 yards. Mainly, he explained, because the knee has improved significantly. "I wouldn't say it's gone away, but I don't have any discomfort, no soreness or anything like that," he said. "I've just kind of forgotten about it."
Holt, who had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee after his final season at North Carolina State, said he hoped to avoid the operating room this time.
"But I'll have it checked out again at the end of the season," he said. "If they feel that they need to go inside and clean some things up, then we'll do that. Whatever I need to do to get it tightened up and get ready for next year, I'll do that."
Latest line woes
The Rams' dwindling corps of offensive tackles dipped further Thursday when Orlando Pace, Rex Tucker and Matt Morgan missed practice. Pace is nursing an assortment of minor dings and will play Sunday against Philadelphia, interim head coach Joe Vitt assured.
Tucker and Morgan were out with the flu. Vitt said Morgan was hospitalized briefly so that fluids come be administered intravenously.
Newcomer Ben Noll worked with the first unit at left tackle, while Alex Barron - his surgically repaired right thumb heavily bandaged - held down the right side.
The Rams filled their eight-man practice squad with safety Terry Holley, a 6-foot-12, 211-pound rookie from Rice. Holley, 23, signed with Seattle as an undrafted free agent in May. He was released Aug. 29.
Three Eagles staffers were assistant coaches at the University of Missouri: head coach Andy Reid (1989-91), assistant head coach Marty Mornhinweg (1991-93) and defensive coordinator Jim Johnson (1959-62).
Re: Rams notebook: Knee injury fails to halt Holt's impressive season
well the best teams are usually the most healthy teams.