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    Rams Trio Likely Out for Sunday

    Thursday, October 27, 2005

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    For the second week in a row, it appears the Rams will be without three of the most important players on their offense. Quarterback Marc Bulger and receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt appeared on the injury report as doubtful for Sunday’s game against Jacksonville.

    For Holt, that status remains the same as it was yesterday because of a knee injury, but the news was worse Thursday for Bulger and Bruce. Bruce and Bulger were downgraded to doubtful Thursday afternoon, meaning there is a 25 percent or less chance they will play in that weekend’s game.

    Bruce had high hopes of being able to play this week after missing the past few because of a toe injury. But Bruce was limited in Wednesday’s practice and did not do much of anything again Thursday.

    Bulger suffered a sprain in the AC joint of his right (throwing) shoulder against the Colts on Oct. 17. He did not play against New Orleans, but threw for the first time since the injury on Monday. He did some light throwing Wednesday and Thursday, but he has essentially been ruled out by coach Joe Vitt.

    “I don’t think Marc is going to play this weekend,” Vitt said. “I think we are going to keep him down.”

    Vitt also confirmed that Bruce and Holt will probably have to wait to return until after next week’s bye. That would set the targeted return for all three for Nov. 13 at Seattle.

    Defensive end Leonard Little’s status remains up in the air, but it also appears that he won’t be returning for this week while he grieves the loss of his brother.

    “I don’t assume anything,” Vitt said. “I talked to Leonard yesterday and this is a day by day process.”

    Cornerback Chris Johnson is questionable because of a back injury, but hasn’t done much of anything in this week’s practice.

    Tyoka Jackson was added to the report as probable on Thursday with a toe injury. Vitt said it was a precautionary measure and Jackson should be able to go Sunday. Joining Jackson as probable are cornerback Travis Fisher (groin), quarterback Jamie Martin (neck) and guard Claude Terrell (neck).

    Fisher did not participate Thursday, but Vitt said Fisher felt better and will probably try to practice Friday. Vitt was less optimistic about Terrell, who practiced for part of the workout, but suffered a setback.

    “He tried to take some snaps today and got a little bit of a stinger in there so we held him out,” Vitt said. “He’ll have to go tomorrow to play on Sunday.”

    THE 12th MAN?: By the end of the first quarter Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome, any sudden noise might have taken the crowd by surprise.

    “To be down 14-0, you could have heard a robin burp up in the balcony in that first quarter,” Vitt said. “It was quiet, it was dead silence.”

    That silence from the crowd wasn’t just a product of the Rams’ first quarter performance against the Saints. Of course it was, in part, based on the team’s poor start, but adding fuel to the slow burn of the crowd was all of the adversity and struggles of the team in the three games leading up to the New Orleans game.

    St. Louis had little reason to be excited about a team that was scorched defensively by the Giants, Seattle and Indianapolis. But defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy thought the silence of the crowd extended beyond anything that has happened on the field, the football field anyway.

    “We definitely notice it,” Kennedy said. “Most of us figure it’s because the Cardinals lost. (St. Louis) seems to be a baseball place right now. The Cardinals lost, I guess the fans aren’t rooting for us right now.”

    Although St. Louis certainly doesn’t hold back its unbridled enthusiasm for baseball, it isn’t likely that the baseball correlation works in this case. In fact, the silence and emptiness in the building is almost certainly related to the Rams performance and nobody else’s.

    “You acknowledge it because it’s pretty much our fault in some ways,” linebacker Chris Claiborne said. “We didn’t win the games that we needed to win and you have to win at home. It’s important that you win at home to build that. We are just trying to get back to doing that.”

    Of course, the dome grew considerably louder as the game went on. Once the defense started to come up with stops and the offense began moving the ball, the place got loud.

    As momentum started to move in their favor, Rams players even began doing anything and everything to get the crowd fired up. Running back Steven Jackson even went beyond his usual “dice roll” to celebrate his first touchdown and make it more personalized.

    After Jackson’s first touchdown, he spiked the ball and ran to the seating area where he scaled the wall and celebrated with the fans, Green Bay style.

    “We are at home,” Jackson said. “We need you guys as the 12th man so I just wanted to get the crowd back into it. Let them get into it. The Dome gets too quiet sometime.”

    Taking a page from the Packers’ Lambeau Leap, Jackson jumped climbed into the waiting arms of a bunch of strangers.

    “I didn’t know them,” Jackson said. “They offered me some beer, though.”

    Jackson clearly noticed the lack of presence by the Rams fans (for the record, he politely declined the beer offer), but Vitt doesn’t pay much attention to the fans, though he knows they can make a difference.

    “I really didn’t take a head count,” Vitt said. “I’m in charge of a lot of things now, but that’s not one of them.”

    MAGIC NUMBER - 30: The Jaguars are working on an impressive or not so impressive streak, depending on how you look at it.

    Jacksonville hasn’t score 30 or more points since a 33-3 win against Minnesota on Dec. 23, 2001, a streak that has spanned 56 games. The record for most consecutive games without breaking 30 is 58 by Cleveland.

    For comparisons sake, the Rams have bested 30 points on 16 occasions. Jacksonville’s chance to break that streak might be pretty good this week against the Rams, though.

    St. Louis has allowed 210 points in seven games which works out to; you guessed it, 30 points.

    BARKER’S BOYS: Rams punter Bryan Barker was an original member of the Jacksonville Jaguars when they entered the league in 1995. He spent six seasons with the Jaguars before moving on to Washington.

    When Barker was unemployed during part of the preseason and the start of the season, he returned to his home there and helped with putting together

    “Last year was the 10th anniversary of the franchise and being an original Jaguar I thought it was important that we try and organize some of the former players and recognize those that helped start the franchise,” Barker said. “We put the Jaguars ambassadors program together, which is really modeled after the Kansas City Chiefs ambassadors, who I got to know very well when I played in KC. This year, while I was watching football for the month of September and a little bit of October, I coordinated that as well.”

    Barker clearly remembers his time in Jacksonville fondly.

    “It was a very unique experience to be a part of the beginning of the franchise,” Barker said. “We had a lot of success early and the ownership there is fantastic, the city is wonderful, the fans have been very supportive of that team and franchise and living in Jacksonville it makes me feel good that I had something to do with that.”


  2. #2
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    Re: Rams Trio Likely Out for Sunday

    This isn't good. But we can do it!
    RamsFan16

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