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Rams sign returner, waive fifth-round pick
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Tuesday, Sep. 05 2006
The Rams might have answered what coach Scott Linehan had described as "a big
question mark" by signing a kick returner Monday. His name is J.R. Reed, and
because of a freak injury, he hasn't played in a regular-season game in more
than a year and a half.
Reed, a fourth-round draft pick from the University of South Florida, was
Philadelphia's primary return man in 2004. He averaged 23.1 yards on 33
attempts, second among all NFL rookies. He also collected 20 special-teams
tackles and saw action as a reserve safety.
To make room on the 53-man roster, the Rams waived rookie wide receiver Marques
Hagans, who returned kicks and punts during the preseason. Hagans, a converted
quarterback, was a fifth-round draft choice from Virginia.
Linehan declined to comment on the moves.
In February 2005, Reed cut the back of his left knee when he tried to jump over
a fence near his home in Tampa, Fla. The peroneal nerve, which controls
movement in the lower leg and foot, was damaged, and Reed's career appeared to
be in jeopardy.
He spent the 2005 season on the Eagles' injured reserve list, while he rehabbed
the leg and awaited the slow regeneration of the nerve. He was cleared
medically this past spring. Reed returned seven kicks for a 21.9-yard average
and three punts for a 1.7-yard average in the Eagles' five preseason games. He
also had an interception.
After being released Saturday, Reed, 24, worked out for team officials Monday
at Rams Park and signed a one-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.
A 5-foot-11, 202-pound Tampa native, Reed led the nation in kickoff returns
(31.7-yard average) as a senior at South Florida. He also set a school record
with 18 interceptions
Only one spot remains on the eight-man practice squad after the Rams signed
tight end Mark Anelli and defensive tackle Montavious Stanley on Monday.
Anelli, 6-3 and 265 pounds, was with Tampa Bay this preseason. His NFL
experience consists of two games with San Francisco in 2002. The Wisconsin
product also has been with Atlanta, Chicago and the New York Giants.
Stanley, 6-2 and 310 pounds, is a rookie from Louisville. He was drafted by
Dallas in the sixth round.
Rookie starter at tight end
Several new faces will appear in the starting lineup Sunday when the Rams open
the regular season against the Denver Broncos. Only one will belong to a
That distinction goes to tight end Joe Klopfenstein, a second-round draft
choice from Colorado. Klopfenstein earned the job over veteran Aaron Walker and
fellow rookie Dominique Byrd, a third-round pick.
"I think Joe's been the most consistent," Linehan said. "Tight ends are
blockers and receivers, but they're blockers first."
The Rams will resume practice this morning after two days off. ... Hagans was
the third of the team's 10 draft picks to be cut. The others were linebacker
Tim McGarigle and guard Tony Palmer, both seventh-rounders. McGarigle was
signed to the Rams' practice squad; Palmer was claimed off waivers by Green Bay.
Re: Rams sign returner, waive fifth-round pick
Hagans will be signed to the practice squad. Then he'll make the team next year.