It still remains unknown if Nutten will play Saturday
By Bill Coats
Of the Post-Dispatch
Thursday, Jan. 06 2005

The sweepstakes for the Rams' starting spot at left guard appears to have
turned in rookie Larry Turner's favor. Incumbent Tom Nutten, nursing a knee
injury, did limited work at practice Thursday but Turner was with the first
unit in team drills.

After practice Wednesday, coach Mike Martz said there was "a real chance" that
Nutten would be ready to go Saturday, when the Rams (8-8) play at Seattle (9-7)
in the opening round of the playoffs. His status seemed cloudier after
Thursday's workout.

"We'll just see how he is" today, Martz said. "If he's ready and he feels good,
that's fine. He's not going to play if it's a concern at all. He's got to be
feeling real good for him to play."

Nutten, whom Martz lured out of a retirement in late August, has started six of
the past seven games. Turner, a seventh-round draft pick from Eastern Kentucky,
started Dec. 19 at Arizona and filled in last Sunday after Nutten reinjured his
left knee late in the third quarter vs. the New York Jets.

Martz said Nutten "had to test (his knee) out against pressure (Thursday), to
make sure he could push off."

Nutten was upgraded to questionable from doubtful on Thursday's injury report.

Bly will be at game

The Rams will see a familiar face on the other side of the microphones
Saturday. Dre' Bly, a Pro Bowl cornerback for the Detroit Lions who was with
the Rams from 1999 through 2002, is covering the game as a correspondent for
the NFL Network.

"I talked to him, and he was very excited about the opportunity," Rams wide
receiver Torry Holt said. "I told him this was a great chance for him. I told
him ... to brush up (on the two teams) and make sure he's got on a nice suit.
This is a job interview outside of his job."

Holt recalls hit

Holt might have repeated as the league's leading receiver had he not been
knocked silly in the opening moments Sept. 14 vs. the Seahawks. He was leveled
by safety Terreal Bierria and sat out the rest of the game.

Holt finished fourth, with 1,372 yards, only 38 fewer than leader Muhsin
Muhammad of Carolina.

Although Holt said he doesn't remember much about the hit, he recalled that he
"felt good that day, like I was on pace to have a pretty good day.
Unfortunately, I got my clock cleaned. But, yeah, if I was out there, I
probably would've had the opportunity to compete for" the receiving title.

After spending several minutes on the turf, Holt rose to his feet and exited
the field at the Edward Jones Dome flashing his ever-present smile.

"I don't know if I was grinning because I was dazed ... (but) I was excited I
was able to get up off the turf and walk off and live to see another play," he
said. "I hope that doesn't happen anymore."

Faulk wins honor

Veteran running back Marshall Faulk is the Rams' winner of the Ed Block Courage
Award, which honors a player from each NFL team.

Recipients are selected by their teammates based on "commitments to the
principles of courage and sportsmanship, while serving as inspirations in their
locker rooms and communities," according to a release from the award's
foundation.

Ed Block, a native St. Louisan and Washington University graduate, was a
longtime head trainer for the Baltimore Colts.

The 32 winners will be feted at a dinner March 8 in Baltimore.

Ram-blings

Defensive end Erik Flowers returned to practice Thursday, a day after his wife,
Melissa, gave birth to their second child. Braeden Mekhi Flowers checked in at
7 pounds 4 ounces.

Former Ram Brian Young visited Rams Park on Thursday. Young spent four seasons
with the Rams, starting 31 games, before signing with New Orleans after the
2003 season as a free agent.