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Surgery will end season for Leonard
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Tuesday, Oct. 14 2008
Running back Brian Leonard's second season with the Rams, which never really
gained much traction, is over. Leonard, a second-round draft choice last year
from Rutgers, will undergo shoulder surgery and has been placed on injured
Leonard, who had operations on both shoulders after his rookie year, was
injured Aug. 16 in a preseason game against San Diego and was among the Rams'
inactives for the first three regular-season outings. In the meantime, Antonio
Pittman nailed down the No. 2 spot behind Steven Jackson.
Leonard saw his first action Sept. 28 vs. Buffalo, getting two carries for
seven yards. He suffered a partial dislocation Sunday, apparently on a
special-teams play, in the 19-17 victory at Washington, and coach Jim Haslett
decided to shut him down.
"We thought he could probably do rehab for the next couple of weeks and then
play, but it'd probably happen again," Haslett explained. "I'd rather do it now
and get it over with, and then have him ready for the offseason next year. If
we wait till the end of the season, it'll hinder him in being ready for
With Pittman expected to be out another week or two as he recovers from a
fracture in his lower leg sustained Sept. 21 at Seattle, the Rams are expected
to add a running back in the next day or two. "There are a couple of guys on
(other teams') practice squads that we're looking at," Haslett said.
Leonard is the sixth Rams player to land on IR. Cornerback Ricky Manning Jr.
became No. 5 after suffering a broken bone in his lower leg against the
Redskins. Manning is scheduled for surgery today.
The losses of Leonard and Manning were offset somewhat by the news that wide
receiver Dane Looker will return to practice Wednesday. Haslett said Looker
"passed his physical," but had no other details.
Looker has been sidelined since early last week, when a possible brain aneurysm
was detected in a CAT scan taken after he suffered a concussion against the
Bills. Additional tests had failed to yield a firm diagnosis, Looker said
Friday. Attempts to reach Looker on Monday were unsuccessful.
Two offensive-line starters were hurt Sunday. Tackle Orlando Pace left in the
fourth quarter with a strained thigh muscle and is questionable for Sunday's
home game against Dallas, Haslett said. Also, guard Jacob Bell is day to day
with a sprained foot.
Quarterback Marc Bulger injured his right index finger in the final period but
stayed in the game. He might miss some practice time but should "be fine by the
end of the week," Haslett said.
Wide receiver Keenan Burton, who had surgery for a torn knee cartilage after
the season opener, is expected to practice this week and be available Sunday.
RAMS ADD TACKLE
Defensive tackle Willie Williams, an undrafted rookie from Louisville, has been
signed to the practice squad. He takes the spot that opened when wide receiver
Derek Stanley was promoted to the active roster last week. The 6-foot-3,
305-pound Williams was with the Rams during training camp. He was released Aug.
Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa was busy Sunday. He piled up a team-high 13 tackles,
according to the coaches' film review, including a sack and another stop for
lost yardage. He also forced the fumble that safety Oshiomogho Atogwe scooped
up and raced 75 yards with for the Rams' lone touchdown.
"That's one of (Tinoisamoa's) best games since I've been here," Haslett said.
"He was taking on big guys, he was flying around. ... He's actually been
playing pretty good football, about as good as I've seen him play."
With 32 points on nine field goals and five extra points, kicker Josh Brown not
only is the Rams' leading scorer, he has accounted for more than half of their
62 points. ... The 200 yards mustered vs. the Redskins is the lowest total in a
Rams victory since they beat Baltimore 33-22 in 2003 despite getting just 121
yards. In that game, the Rams had a defensive score, four field goals and seven
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