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Timmerman streak ends in Rams' win
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
OAKLAND, CALIF. — For the first time since 1995, Adam Timmerman watched an NFL game from the sidelines. Timmerman was among the Rams' seven designated inactives Sunday against Oakland. He had played in 184 regular-season games in the NFL, dating to his rookie season with the Green Bay Packers in '95.
Timmerman's streak was the second-longest iron man streak among active NFL offensive linemen, trailing only Kansas City's Will Shields (221 games). If you include postseason games, Timmerman had played in 204 consecutive NFL contests.
Rams coach Scott Linehan said he made the decision to sit Timmerman on Saturday morning. "That was not easy because that guy has meant so much to that whole (offensive line) group, and to us, and to this organization," Linehan said. "But he's been injured. So that was my call. Some guys had to step up because he wasn't going to be out there."
Timmerman suffered three cracked ribs in the Rams' game at Carolina on Nov. 19, but he kept playing, albeit on a rotation system with Adam Goldberg. Timmerman indicated late last week that he still wanted to play. But he watched Sunday's game in street clothes, and declined to comment on his inactive status following the Rams' 20-0 victory over Oakland.
With Richie Incognito playing right guard in Timmerman's place, and Brett Romberg moving into Incognito's usual starting center spot, Linehan needed to have a backup center available. So Larry Turner, who had not suited up since Game 4 against Detroit, was on the game-day roster in Oakland.
"We're just going to try to get Adam 100 percent so he can get back in there," Linehan said.
A 'record' for Little
With two sacks Sunday, Leonard Little became the Rams' career sack leader with 73. Kind of. He passed Granite City product Kevin Greene, who had 72½ sacks with the Rams from 1985-92.
"It's cool," Little said. "But I'd rather win more than anything else. I'm the type of guy that tries to go out and make plays for this team. I guess it's a good accomplishment. I just want to end the year on a good note."
If Little was nonchalant about the achievement, it was with good reason. He realizes the Rams sack record comes with a huge asterisk, because sacks didn't become an official NFL statistic until 1982. Official stat or not, Little's 73 sacks leave him a few behind Hall of Famer Deacon Jones, who played for the Rams from 1961-71.
"A few?" Little said, laughing. "Probably a hundred, huh?"
Jones, part of the famed Fearsome Foursome defensive line, had 159½ sacks as a Ram.
It took 14 games, but Rams rookie Jon Alston finally played in his first NFL game. After being part of the team's pregame inactive list for 13 consecutive game, Alston was part of the Rams' kickoff return, kickoff coverage and punt return teams against Oakland.
So how did it feel?
"Righteous!" Alston said, with a broad smile. "To be honest with you, I wasn't very nervous at all. I've been working my butt off preparing."
Besides Timmerman, the Rams' pregame inactive list included: DE Victor Adeyanju (forearm); RB Paul Smith (neck ); S Jerome Carter (ankle); RB Rich Alexis; DE Eric Moore; and OT Jeremy Parquet.
Moss sits for Raiders
Five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss was a pregame scratch because of an ankle injury.