No loss stung the Rams more than the 31-13 one that went on their record Sunday against the Eagles.
But a series of injuries that seemingly never stopped until the clock hit all zero certainly did their part in making the loss in the game happen.
By the time the game was done, the Rams had lost running back Steven Jackson(quadriceps), quarterback Sam Bradford (finger), cornerback Ron Bartell(stinger), right tackle Jason Smith(high ankle sprain) and receiver Danny Amendola(dislocated elbow).
All were injured in the game and none returned.
“It’s unfortunate,” Jackson said. “Quite a few of us went down. We all, I’m pretty sure, will be getting MRIs or whatever the doctors need to get more information on our injuries.”
While it doesn’t appear to be the most harmful, Jackson’s was the one suffered the earliest and came during his game-opening 47-yard touchdown run. The high of Jackson’s game breaking run was evened out by the buzz kill of losing him for the rest of the game.
“It was very disappointing,” Jackson said. “I prepared all offseason for this, had a great training camp, really felt mentally in tune to the game plan. I was really looking forward to it and I knew I could have had a big role in this game.”
Jackson went back on the field for one play and gained 9 yards but didn’t hit the hole with his usual burst. He finished with two carries for 56 yards and a touchdown. He’ll have an MRI on the quad tomorrow to ensure there is no further damage.
Much later in the game, the man who hands it to Jackson also suffered an injury. Bradford dropped back to throw to receiver Greg Salas down the seam. As his hand came forward, his right index finger landed on a helmet.
Bradford lost feeling in the finger and said after the game the pain isn’t overbearing but he doesn’t have full motion in the finger. Bradford will continue to monitor the finger overnight but he was confident after the game he’d be OK and ready to play the Giants next Monday night.
“I don’t see there being any way I’m not on the field,” Bradford said.
Perhaps the most damaging injury came early in the fourth quarter when Amendola caught a pass over the middle for a gain of 6 but landed awkwardly on his elbow.
The result was a dislocated elbow that ended Amendola’s game and could keep him out for a longer period of time depending on the results of his MRI.
“It’s not broken but it’s dislocated and now we’ll have an MRI and see how much damage was actually done in there,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said.
Smith’s injury could also keep him out a couple weeks if it is indeed a high ankle sprain. Adam Goldbergreplaced Smith on the right side.
Bartell’s injury appeared worse than it was. The stinger will need to be monitored but isn’t considered serious. He also did not return.
The Rams will have a busy day at the doctor’s office Monday morning but as Spagnuolo points out, they’ll need to get healthy sooner than later.
“We are pretty banged up,” Spagnuolo said. “We’ve got to get our football team back and healthy and ready to play a really good New York Giants team.”
RIDING CADILLAC: While losing Jackson was clearly a big blow for the Rams, they were plenty prepared to replace him with veteran Cadillac Williamswaiting in the wings.
Williams picked up where Jackson left off and finished with 91 yards on 19 carries to go with six catches for 49 yards.
“I thought he went in there and did a nice job,” Spagnuolo said. “You never want to lose a guy like Steven but it’s nice to know (he’s there). A good move by (GM) Billy (Devaney) and his staff. Cadillac has been great since he’s been here…he stepped right in there and we didn’t skip a beat.”
IN HONOR OF: Before all of Sunday’s games, the NFL presented a moving tribute to all who were lost in the attacks on New York, Washington D.C. and an airplane in Pennsylvania 10 years ago today.
Actor Robert DeNiro narrated the tribute and it finished with a moment of silence for those who lost their lives.
Even after a disappointing loss, Spagnuolo took a moment to recognize the moment which also had both teams holding a giant American flag during the national anthem.
“Sometimes – and I am just as guilty as anybody – we get so wrapped up in this business and wins and losses but something really happened 10 years ago and I just want to kind of throw that out and say that I thought it was a special tribute,” Spagnuolo said. “I just didn’t want to forget that.”
INACTIVES: With the new rule allowing teams to keep 46 players active and no third quarterback mandatory, the Rams had to make some tough decisions to keep seven players inactive Sunday.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawani was the only injury scratch because of a lingering calf injury.
The other inactives were end Robert Quinn, receiver Danario Alexander, linebacker Jabara Williams, receiver Austin Pettis, safety Jermale Hines and offensive lineman Tony Wragge.
Spagnuolo said the move to deactivate Quinn was a simple numbers game with Eugene Sims playing special teams and C.J. Ah You’s versatility along the line.
“I mean it was hard to go to nine defensive linemen,” Spagnuolo said. “We just felt for a lot of different reasons – we didn’t know where (DT) Freddie (Robbins) was, he hadn’t play a full game. So we had to weight it all out and went with four tackles and four ends.”
RAM BITS: Safety Quintin Mikell recorded his first sack and forced fumble as a Ram. He also cramped up a bit but was able to finish the game…End C.J. Ah You injured his wrist and will have an X ray on it as well...Jackson’s touchdown run was his first opening day score in his eight-year career.