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Rams Notes: Rice visits Rams today; Steussie breaks left foot
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Even before the Rams make their final roster cuts today and Saturday, here's another name to consider. Simeon Rice, longtime defensive end with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is scheduled to visit Rams Park today.
Rice, a University of Illinois product, will undergo a physical and meet with team officials at Rams Park. With 121 sacks in 11 NFL seasons, Rice has been one of the game's premier pass rushers. But he missed the final eight games of the 2006 season with a shoulder injury.
The Rams want to make sure Rice's shoulder is OK before even considering any contract negotiations. Rice, 33, had only two sacks last season. He was released by Tampa Bay on the night before the start of training camp. The Buccaneers reportedly wanted him to take a sizable pay cut.
Rice already has taken physicals and visited with the New York Giants and Tennessee Titans. Denver also reportedly has interest.
Entering the Rams' exhibition season finale Thursday night against Kansas City, Trevor Johnson and Eric Moore were battling for what's believed to be the lone remaining defensive end spot on the final roster. Moore was shaken up and had to be helped off the field with back spasms with 4½ minutes left in the game.
STEUSSIE COULD BE LOST FOR SEASON
Todd Steussie started for the Rams at right offensive tackle Thursday but limped off midway through the second quarter with a foot injury. It turned out to be a fractured left foot, which could end Steussie's 2007 season.
Steussie was the team's third offensive tackle a year ago, starting seven games at left tackle when Orlando Pace suffered a torn triceps muscle, and was playing well.
Steussie entered the offseason as an unrestricted free agent but was re-signed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal in April. At age 36, he figured to have the third offensive tackle role again this season.
Earlier in the second quarter, backup safety Andre Kirkland suffered a hyper-extended left knee on the Rams' punt return team.
The Rams aren't necessarily shopping third-team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but according to league sources, the Rams have received several calls from other teams about trading for him.
Detroit has been prominent in trade rumors because of injury problems with a couple of its backups. Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz drafted Fitzpatrick in 2005 before Martz's final season as Rams head coach.
MCGARIGLE PLAYS, MAKES BIG PLAY
Linebacker Tim McGarigle, who missed the first three exhibition games with a hamstring injury, made his exhibition debut Thursday, starting at middle linebacker. A seventh-round draft pick in 2006, McGarigle spent last season on the Rams' practice squad.
He's battling Quinton Culberson and Jamal Brooks for a final roster spot and made his mark with a second-quarter interception at the 1-yard line, snuffing out what looked like a Chiefs scoring drive. It was the first interception of the exhibition season for the Rams.
Also returning from injuries was safety Jerome Carter, who missed the Oakland game with a foot injury. Carter also started Thursday.
Three plays before McGarigle's interception, Carter saved a touchdown by dragging down Kansas City running back Kolby Smith from behind after a 55-yard gain to the St. Louis 8.
Re: Rams Notes: Rice visits Rams today; Steussie breaks left foot
Steussie goin down is a bad blow...i guess our luck with injuries couldn`t last forever and yeah he wasn`t penciled down as a starter but i liked the insurance he brought to the T position....
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