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Thread: Steussie's Status in Doubt
-08-31-2007 #1Registered User
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- Jan 2006
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Steussie's Status in Doubt
By Nick Wagoner
After a plethora of injuries forced Todd Steussie into active duty for most of the 2006 season, Steussie was on the wrong end of some pain in Thursday night’s preseason finale against Kansas City.
During the second quarter of that game, Steussie came limping off the field, favoring his left foot. He instantly knew something was wrong, though he wasn’t sure what it was. Turns out, he was right and it was a broken bone in his left foot.
Coach Scott Linehan said the broken bone was the fifth metatarsal in Steussie’s on the outside part of Steussie’s left foot. That original prognosis was confirmed Friday morning and Steussie immediately underwent the surgery to repair the broken bone.
“It was repaired this morning with a screw,” Linehan said. “It was a basic procedure. It’s basically and eight-to-10-week recovery time. A lot of times they put six to 10 weeks on that but with a bigger player and an offensive lineman, eight weeks is a lot more realistic.”
Steussie cannot go on the Physically Unable to Perform list. That particular classification is reserved only for players injured at the start of training camp. In Steussie’s case, he entered training camp on the active roster, which makes him ineligible for that designation.
That would have been ideal since a player can reside there for six weeks without counting against the roster and Steussie is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks. Instead, the Rams now must make a difficult decision between carrying Steussie on the roster for the bulk of the season or place him on injured reserve which would effectively end his career.
“We will assess that in the next 24 hours with what we decide to do there with his status as opposed to speculating right now,” Linehan said. “(It’s) IR versus staying on the roster, those kind of things. It does put an interesting spin on it because that is half the season at this point.”
With Steussie out, the Rams have begun to explore a number of other possible tackle options. As teams make their cuts to get down to the final 53-man rosters, some players will come available that could be better options than what is on the Rams roster right now.
In-house options include veteran Adam Goldberg, who has played everywhere on the line and even played the bulk of the time at left tackle in place of Orlando Pace at Seattle last season, and Milford Brown, who has spent most of his career at guard but has been getting some work at tackle in recent weeks.
Of course, should something happen to Pace, the first move would probably involve moving right tackle Alex Barron to left side.
“We have to have a contingency for anything ever happening to the left side of our line,” Linehan said. “Come game day you are going to have seven players active for a game so we have to decide who is going to back up our center position and both guards and who will back up our tackle positions Goldberg or Brown or another option.”
COOKING WITH RICE: The mutual interest between the Rams and defensive end Simeon Rice has begun to boil over and it’s possible that Rice could be a Ram before the weekend is out.
Rice was in St. Louis on Friday afternoon for a meet and greet with the coaching staff. He also took a physical late in the afternoon and was expected to go through some more workouts to test his injured shoulder in front of the coaching and training staffs.
“I met with Simeon,” Linehan said. “He’s here really more for a physical to really just kind of get an update on where he’s at. That’s kind of where we are. Everything is preliminary with him right now. There’s nothing substantial to report on that front until we get through the physical.”
Rice would be an instant upgrade for a pass rush that hasn’t had much besides Leonard Little in recent seasons. After adding James Hall as a starter opposite Little, the Rams would have three legitimate pass rushing threats with Rice in the fold.
For his career, Rice has racked up 121 sacks. That is good for second among active players (pending No. 1 Michael Strahan’s possible retirement) and 13th in league history.
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said the Rams are also exploring some other options of potential fits, including a safety.
HALFWAY HOME: With the time for the final 53 to be determined still a little over a day away, the Rams got halfway to the final roster by making 11 cuts early Friday afternoon.
There were no surprises in the initial group as the team parted ways with cornerback Josh Lay, defensive tackle Tim Sandidge, linebacker Jamal Brooks, tight end Mark Anelli, receivers Shaine Smith and Fred Gibson, tackles Drew Strojny and Ken Shackleford, kicker Kevin Lovell, safety Andre Kirkland and running back J.D. Washington.
Kirkland suffered a hyper extended left knee against the Chiefs and had an MRI on Friday morning. His status as waived will hold, but Linehan indicated a decision had not been made on an injury settlement.
The Rams must get down to the final 53 by 5 p.m. Saturday. The roster stands at 64 right now and Linehan said the rest of the cuts will be made after Saturday’s afternoon practice.
BROWN OUT: Barring an unforeseen circumstance, the Rams will be without cornerback Fakhir Brown beginning when the team comes back to work Tuesday.
Although the preseason is over, it’s not officially done on the NFL calendar until Sunday morning. Once that rolls around, Brown’s four-game suspension will begin.
Brown said during camp that he was hoping to have an appeal heard by Commissioner Roger Goodell, but the NFL doesn’t release suspensions without an appeal being heard or not being pursued.
All signs point to Brown being out and Linehan said he expects nothing different.
“He can practice tomorrow and he will practice tomorrow,” Linehan said. “Once we are at the final hour for the 53-man roster then his suspension is official.”
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