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    Steussie placed on Injured Reserve

    Rams | Steussie placed on Injured Reserve
    Sat, 1 Sep 2007 12:30:00 -0700

    Nick Wagoner, of StLouisRams.com, reports St. Louis Rams OT Todd Steussie (foot) has been placed on Injured Reserve, ending his 2007 season.


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    Re: Steussie placed on Injured Reserve

    Rams Trade Fitzpatrick, Place Steussie on I.R.
    Saturday, September 1, 2007

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    In a move toward completing their final 53-man roster, the Rams dealt third-string quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday afternoon.

    The Rams are expected to receive a conditional seventh-round draft choice in the 2008 NFL Draft in exchange for Fitzpatrick.

    The move comes after a whirlwind of rumors surrounded Fitzpatrick potentially reuniting with Mike Martz in Detroit or heading to Minnesota. But the Bengals’ need at the position became much more immediate after their preseason game.

    Coach Scott Linehan said the decision to trade Fitzpatrick, who by all accounts is one of the good guys around, was difficult.

    “He’s a young man with a great deal of upside,” Linehan said. “He’s in a situation here where he is third on our roster and the opportunity unless it was through injury to move up did not look favorable.”

    In the Bengals’ final preseason game, a 16-6 win over Indianapolis last night, backup Doug Johnson played with the starters and struggled mightily, throwing a pair of interceptions.

    Fitzpatrick will immediately be given the chance to compete for the No. 2 job in Cincinnati, an upgrade from his work as the No. 3 man in St. Louis the past two seasons.

    “I think the situation…looks favorable for him to advance quicker as far as having an opportunity that may not be there next year or this season here,” Linehan said. “We are going to miss him. He’s been a great part of our team.”

    The Rams drafted Fitzpatrick in the seventh round (No. 250 overall) in the 2005 NFL Draft. In his two seasons in St. Louis, Fitzpatrick played in five games with three starts, accumulating 777 passing yards with four touchdowns and eight interceptions.

    Fitzpatrick will best be remembered in St. Louis for his performance in relief against Houston on Nov. 27, 2005 in which he led the Rams to a miraculous 33-27 come from behind win and threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns.

    As it stands, Brock Berlin is the team’s No. 3 quarterback. But Berlin’s status isn’t official.

    Linehan indicated that the Rams will carry just two quarterbacks into the season with someone like Berlin on the practice squad. That has become a bit of a trend in recent seasons as teams such as Carolina have begun to carry just two signal callers with one on the practice squad.

    “I have been considering and we’ll now probably carry two quarterbacks on our active roster and a practice squad quarterback,” Linehan said. “I have been researching it and looking through it. The risk is you have just two quarterbacks that are available and this gives you another position opening for the fifty-three that would be available for the forty-five on Sundays.”

    Berlin played well in the preseason opener, leading the Rams to a comeback win against the Vikings in Minnesota. He would be the likely practice squad member and call up should Gus Frerotte or Marc Bulger suffer an injury.

    The Rams also will have to work on a contingency plan should they need a third quarterback in a game. Possibilities there would include former college quarterbacks and current wideouts Drew Bennett and Marques Hagans.

    STEUSSIE TO I.R.: Linehan also announced Saturday that the Rams will officially place offensive tackle Todd Steussie on injured reserve, effectively ending his season.

    Steussie suffered a broken left foot against the Chiefs in the preseason finale and was scheduled to miss eight to 10 weeks. Because that is more than the majority of the season, the Rams had to choose to place Steussie on the I.R.

    “It was half a season,” Linehan said. “There’s no guarantee but it could be more or less. It’s really hard to carry …on the fifty-three a guy that isn’t available for half the season. We are going to have to move forward and get some other guys ready. It’s a tough break, but it’s the decision we had to make.”

    CUT TIME: The Rams and every other team in the league has until this evening to make their final cuts to get down to the final 53-man roster. Because of the moves with Steussie and Fitzpatrick, the Rams have two less cuts to make, which should make Linehan’s job just a bit easier.

    The Rams have some difficult decisions to make, particularly at defensive end, linebacker, wide receiver and on the offensive line. Those decisions will be made later today, but might not come available until late this evening.

    “We get done early afternoon and we have to be done with the cuts later in the afternoon,” Linehan said. “I don’t want to rush that process.”

    Linehan takes the time to meet with each player individually so he wanted to wait until after this morning’s practice to make the moves so he could do that.

    Stay tuned to stlouisrams.com throughout the day for more on the team’s final 53.

    RICE DECISION: Veteran defensive end Simeon Rice left St. Louis without a contract, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be a Ram. He could have a deal before practice begins on Tuesday, but it could take a little while as he is planning to make another visit.

    Although it is believed the Rams did not make a formal contract offer, Rice told the St. Petersburg Times that he is in the process of making a decision and it will come down to a choice between the Rams, Denver, and a return to Tampa Bay.

    “I could’ve pushed it, but there was no reason to after what happened (in Tampa),” Rice told the Times. “I’m in a good place. I’m weighing all my options and stuff like that, making sure all my ducks are in a row.”

    Rice remains in contact with Tampa Bay, his last team and the team that asked him to take a pay cut in the offseason. When Rice resisted that, Tampa Bay released him.

    Of course, Rice has always been known to march to the beat of his own drummer so his decision could come down to something random.

    “It’s a real good situation in St. Louis,” he said. “I liked Denver as well. Their uniforms are off the chain. That’s where I’m probably headed next.”

    For the record, Rice has said if all things are equal in terms of money, he will just return to Tampa Bay.

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