By Howard Balzer
The Rams concluded on-field preparations Saturday for Monday night's game against the New York Giants and coach Steve Spagnuolo proclaimed his team ready. Of course, Spagnuolo also knows it's difficult to figure out if the practice week relates to game performance.
"I thought they practiced pretty good today," Spagnuolo said. "I think this team's ready. I can find fault anywhere because that's just me. Everybody in this business, I think, wants to be perfect and yet we know sometimes you can practice perfect and then not go out and play very good, so I've never been able to figure it out."
Spagnuolo hopes to have Jason Smith available to start at right tackle, even though he didn't take all the reps during practice, resulting in the official "limited" designation on the injury report.
"We backed off a little just because of the situation, but I think we'll be OK there," Spagnuolo said. "Unless something strange happens, I think we'll get him."
Asked if Smith will start, he said, "I would hope. I don't know that. When we're dealing with an injury I don't want to make it black and white and then have you call me a liar. As long as the rehab continues to go like it's going and he progresses like he has I think we'll be all right."
Running back Steven Jackson did not practice, and was listed as questionable for the game.
Said Spagnuolo, "I'll visit with him tomorrow and see where we're at and maybe we'll take this thing, obviously right up until game day with the extra day and being a night game. Probably work him out on game day and see where we're going."
Somewhat surprisingly, wide receiver Danny Amendola was listed as doubtful instead of out on the injury report. While he remains unlikely to play, the doubtful designation could be an indication that Amendola is right when he said he will be back sooner rather than later.
Spagnuolo said he has liked what he has seen from running back Quinn Porter, who was signed off the Cleveland Browns practice squad earlier in the week.
"He's done a nice job," Spagnuolo said. "He's got a little juice to him. Of course, he is swimming with the volume and what not. Depending on how this thing goes he may have to be ready to help us somewhere along the way in this game."
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (calf) is expected to play although he's officially questionable on the injury report.
Giants update: Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (knee) is considered questionable, but did participate in some of the team portion of practice Saturday. The day before, he only did individual drills. Defensive end Justin Tuck (neck) was also limited and is questionable.
Defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee) and tight end Travis Beckum (hamstring) will not play.