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Thread: Rams team report
Rams team report
The Rams have been in this familiar territory before, entering a practice week unsure whether running back Steven Jackson will be able to play or how well if he does.
In 2007, he missed four games because of a groin injury. In 2008, he missed one game with a quad injury, returned too soon for a game against Arizona, then missed another three.
Last season, Jackson emerged from a Nov. 22 game against Arizona with a back injury, and while he missed only one game (Dec. 27 at Arizona), he never practiced except for some brief walk-through plays in Friday practices.
Now, it is more of the same after Jackson suffered a strained groin against Washington. He also practiced last week on a limited basis for two days because of a minor knee injury.
Asked if he's optimistic about Jackson playing, coach Steve Spagnuolo said, "I don't want to say one way or the other because you've really got to leave it up to the player in this situation. You're talking about a running back with a groin ... but Steven's a warrior. You almost have to pull him back because he'll want to go.
"I've really got to trust the player and obviously Reggie (trainer Reggie Scott), who I've got a lot of trust in. What you don't want to do is get him out there too soon and set him back, because the whole goal will be to get him to the game on Sunday. It's just a matter of the treatments and making sure we don't make it any worse."
Jackson was injured in the second quarter against the Redskins and missed the remainder of the game. In the second half, backups Kenneth Darby and rookie Keith Toston combined for 73 rushing yards, and Darby scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 12-yard run. At one point, Darby carried the ball on six consecutive plays. Toston was playing with a shoulder that was injured on a first-half special teams play.
"Real solid," Spagnuolo said of their performance. "I thought they both ran really well. Again, you're talking about guys that haven't gotten a lot of reps in the course of the week. But I was impressed with Keith with the shoulder injury, and yet when you watched him run the football you wouldn't have thought his shoulder was hurting and we knew it was."
Spagnuolo acknowledged that the play of Darby and Toston not only gives them confidence, but also the rest of the offense.
"We want Steven out there all the time or as much as possible," Spagnuolo said. "But I think it's a boost for the offensive line and those young guys if we can still finish a game out like that, without really one of your best players."
When it was noted that Jackson referred to the injury as a blessing in disguise because now other teams know the offense can move the ball without him, Spagnuolo laughed and said, "He's a deeper thinker than I am, because I'd rather just have him out there."
Still, with Jackson's status in doubt, the Rams signed running back Chauncey Washington off the Jets' practice squad Tuesday.
—After the game, center Jason Brown presented coach Steve Spagnuolo with the game ball.
Said linebacker James Laurinaitis, "Big Jason gave it to him because Spags has stuck with us all the way. He's never, ever given up hope on this team."
Asked about Spagnuolo's reaction after the win, Laurinaitis said, "He was crazy, excited. But he told us he was extremely happy for this team, but one win isn't enough. We enjoy it, move on to the next game."
Said Brown, "This has to be the first of many," center Jason Brown said. "We have to keep this momentum going into next week. You can't just go out there and shoot out a golden egg this week, then next week shoot out a dud and then everyone says 'What is going on?' "
—The Rams believe the victory helps their confidence going forward. There were still injuries and bad plays, but they overcame them.
Said coach Steve Spagnuolo, "What I told the team was, any win in the NFL feels good, but when you can rise above some adverse situations that's even better. And I thought the reason we did that is because we hung together, nobody bailed out, nobody panicked. The coaching staff did a nice job keeping it together and the players did too. We lose some of our best players and they are not out there and some other guys stepped in, did a nice job.
"We'd been in two prior games where we certainly all felt we could have won and we didn't and so you're looking to find a way to win and we did that today even in the middle of a lot of adversity. I'm talking about shuffling defensive looks because we get guys hurt. Same thing on offense when you lose your star running back who's a key cog in what we do. Our two captains on offense and defense (Steven Jackson and Oshiomogho Atogwe) didn't play a lot of football today, so I credit all the guys that stepped in there and played good football."
Said wide receiver Danny Amendola, "It gives us a lot of confidence going into next week. We've got a little bit of momentum, and it just shows teams around the league that we can win, and we're excited about it."
Added Jackson, "It's confidence through the roof. We had adversity and times in the game when we jumped on the Redskins, they came roaring back. We had guys go down with injuries and people stepped in and filled their shoes. It was a collective win by a lot of different guys."
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
—QB Sam Bradford was 8-for-11 for 81 yards on third down in Sunday's game against Washington, a passer rating of 93.4. He had a rating of 104.2 in the fourth quarter, completing 3-of-5 passes for 63 yards.
—RB Steven Jackson hopes to play Sunday against Seattle, despite a strained groin suffered against Washington. The last three seasons, the Rams are 0-9 in games Jackson has missed because of injury. He needs 39 rushing yards to pass Marshall Faulk and move into second place on the team's all-time list behind Eric Dickerson.
—RB Kenneth Darby's 14 rushing attempts Sunday against Washington were a career high. He also leads the team with five special teams tackles.
—RB Chauncey Washington was signed by the Rams Tuesday off the Jets' practice squad.
—FB Mike Karney will be wearing a protective cast in practice this week to protect a thumb injured in Sunday's game against Washington.
—WR Mark Clayton continues to make big plays in his three games after coming to the team after being acquired from Baltimore in a trade. Against Washington, he had receptions of 25 and 30 yards on plays where he made the defensive back miss a tackle.
—WR Brandon Gibson had three receptions for 33 yards and was targeted eight times in Sunday's game against Washington. Gibson was active for the first time this season because Laurent Robinson was out with a foot injury.
—WR Danny Amendola is second on the team with 16 receptions, and six have come on third down. That is tied for fourth in the NFC and ninth in the NFL.
—TE Fendi Onobun had the first receptions of his career Sunday against Washington, catching two passes for 15 yards. He was targeted in the end zone on two red-zone plays at the end of the second quarter, but was held on both, although only one was called.
—TE Daniel Fells played Sunday despite being bothered by a knee injury, and had three receptions for 22 yards and a touchdown. One 12-yard catch on third down extended a drive and led to the team's go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter.
—CB Kevin Dockery, released Saturday to make room on the roster for DT Jermelle Cudjo, was re-signed Tuesday.
—DT Darell Scott, who suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 2 against the Raiders, is out of his cast and in a boot. It is hoped that Scott will only miss two or three more games.
—DE James Hall had a key fourth-quarter sack Sunday against Washington, giving him a sack in each of the last two games.
—LB Bryan Kehl, claimed on waivers from the Giants on Sept. 15, had four tackles in Sunday's game against Washington. He had also had a pressure of QB Donovan McNabb that contributed to a fourth-quarter interception by Bradley Fletcher.:ramlogo:
-09-29-2010 #2Registered User
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Re: Rams team report
Wow, the Kehl deal sure paid off quickly.
SJ's injury list is an excellent example of how brutal this game is on running backs...hope that groin doesn't get further aggravated. But I don't see how playing this week can help the injury.
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