Rams are wigged out about Matthews
BY KATHLEEN NELSON •
Packers linebacker Clay Matthews made a special guest appearance on the Rams' practice field Wednesday.
No, wait. That was practice squad member Sammy Brown, wearing a cheap blond wig supplied by coach Jeff Fisher.
"That's a team-issued deal," Fisher said. "I've done that in the past, particularly with Troy Polamalu. When you're playing great players like Polamalu and Matthews, you like to know where they are on the field, and that helps. "
The resemblance was uncanny.
"I thought it was pretty cool," defensive end Chris Long said, chuckling. "Clay's are a little bit more flowy. But I almost thought it was Clay Matthews."
Did the hair give Brown superhuman strength or powers like the biblical Samson? Hardly.
"I had to take it off," Brown said. "That thing was burning my face." The humor masks the difficulty of preparing for a talent like Matthews, who ranks second in the league in sacks, with eight, and has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons.
The best way to imitate Matthews, Brown said, is to dump the hair and "just try to run full speed every play, get off blocks and do crazy stuff."
Brockers takes on more of the load
After missing the first three games because of a high ankle sprain, defensive tackle Michael Brockers has seen his workload increase each week. A first-round pick out of LSU, Brockers debuted against the Seahawks and played exclusively on running downs. .
His contributions have barely shown up on the stat sheet. He was credited with two assists against the Cardinals and one against Miami but has yet to register a solo tackle, let alone a sack.
"Coming in as a first rounder, I've got a lot of pressure on me," Brockers said. "But, like Coach said, 'Don't let the pressure get to you. Play your game. As long as we're winning, it's OK. The pass rush will come. The sacks will come.'"
Brockers' playing time has increased each week, to the point that he played more snaps, 31, than any of the other defensive tackles against Miami. In the past two games, the Rams have allowed a total of 64 yards rushing.
"He's come on. Each week, he's improving," Fisher said. "There's a lot for him to go, but he's been solid inside. He's been very good against the run. Part of our success against the run is attributed to his ability and what he's doing inside."
Jenkins and Hunter added to injury list
CB Janoris Jenkins and OT Wayne Hunter joined the ranks of the injured missing practice Wednesday, the first day of preparation for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers at the Edward Jones Dome.
Both were listed on the injury report with back injuries. Hunter suffered a knee injury last month but has played in all six games. Jenkins added punt returning to his repertoire after Danny Amendola suffered a separated SC joint against the Cardinals on Oct. 4.
Also missing practice were Mario Haggan (thigh), injured in the Cardinals game, Amendola and Rodger Saffold (knee).
Packers of note on the injury report included quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was limited Wednesday because of a calf injury, as were RB Alex Green (shoulder) and TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder). WR Greg Jennings (groin), DT B.J. Raji (ankle) and CB Sam Shields (shin, ankle) did not practice.
The Packers also placed starting linebacker D.J. Smith on injured reserve. Smith, who was injured against Houston on Sunday, recorded 42 tackles and two sacks in six games.