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Turley leaves camp to get ailing back checked

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  • Turley leaves camp to get ailing back checked

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    MACOMB, Ill. - A disappointed and frustrated Kyle Turley headed back to St. Louis on Sunday for further tests and evaluation of a back problem that doesn't seem to want to go away.

    Meanwhile, the Rams are bringing in reinforcements for an offensive line that has been short-handed since the start of training camp. Offensive tackle Greg Randall arrived in Macomb early Sunday evening for a physical, and later was signed to a one-year contract. He is on the practice field this morning.

    Randall started 16 games for the Houston Texans last year. He played his first three seasons in the NFL for the New England Patriots, and started at right tackle in Super Bowl XXXVI against the Rams.

    The Rams also were attempting to bring in guard-center Chris Dishman, the former Arizona Cardinal, to help their depth on the interior of the line. But as of Sunday evening, the Rams had been unable to contact Dishman, causing some team officials to wonder if he was still interested in playing.

    Before heading to St. Louis, Turley told reporters that he considered the latest setback career threatening.

    "It was a threat to my career last year," Turley said. "But for it to have possibly reoccurred is definitely a bigger threat."

    Turley experienced nagging pain in his hip last season. After the season, the source of the pain was diagnosed as a herniated disk in his lower back, and Turley underwent surgery in March.

    Coach Mike Martz pronounced Turley fit at the outset of camp, but Turley has practiced only about half the time over the first five days here at Western Illinois University because of back pain.

    "I came out here in hopes of everything being OK," Turley said. "And everything kind of felt fine. But I went through the first day of practice, and it didn't seem like it was completely right.

    "I expressed my feelings about it. The idea was to come back out and see how it goes. We did it, and I don't know if that was necessarily the right thing to do."

    In addition to getting checked out in St. Louis, Turley said he might see a specialist in Los Angeles.

    "We're attacking it right now, with some heavy anti-inflammatories," he said. "And we're going to see these people and see what they have to say."

    Turley had an MRI Saturday in Macomb and termed the results "not good."

    Turley added, "I'm not doing the surgery again. I'm not going through that again."

    With or without surgery, Turley is concerned that any additional deterioration of the disk won't leave much cushion between the vertebrae.

    "The biggest fear is bone on bone," Turley said. "I don't want that to happen and be a hunchback and an inch shorter by the time I'm 40."

    Although sensitive to Turley's discomfort, team officials aren't overly concerned with the latest setback. Turley may simply need a few days - or more - off his feet. But they're taking no chances. Thus, the additional examination.

    "Obviously, we're all disappointed that his back is still a problem," Martz said. "He's struggling with it. So we'll just have to see.

    "Any time there's a player as competitive as Kyle is, he's very, very frustrated right now to have an injury like this. And he's a guy that's experienced pretty good health throughout his career. So whenever a player has this kind of injury, and he can't go, they get a little depressed and down in the dumps about it."

    With the regular season still six weeks away, Martz said, "We've got some time on this. We're going to be very careful with him."

    Randall, 26, was a fourth-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2000 out of Michigan State. He started 23 regular-season games for New England over three seasons, then was traded to Houston for a fifth-round draft pick in 2003.

    But after a year with Houston, he became expendable when the Texans signed Todd Wade in free agency. Randall signed with San Francisco last April but was released by the ***** on June 16.

    Known as more of a run blocker than a pass blocker, Randall has struggled at times over his career with his weight and conditioning. Originally, the ***** wanted him to play right guard as well as right tackle. But he didn't make a quick adjustment to guard, and then the ***** drafted Alabama guard Justin Smiley in the second round less than a week after signing Randall.

    With Orlando Pace still absent because of another contract impasse, and with Turley's injury, the Rams currently are lining up with Grant Williams at left tackle and second-year man Scott Tercero at right tackle in Macomb.

    Dishman is a roster possibility because center Dave Wohlabaugh's hip problems have forced the Rams to move starting left guard Andy McCollum to center. Dishman is considered a better guard than a center.

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  • Nick
    Turley is released after failing physical - PD
    by Nick
    Turley is released after failing physical
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Monday, Jun. 06 2005

    Kyle Turley won't be playing offensive tackle, tight end, defensive tackle or
    anything else for the Rams in 2005. Turley has failed a physical exam
    administered in Arizona, where he had been rehabbing the back injury that cost
    him the entire 2004 season, and has been released.

    Officially, Turley was designated as "waived - failed physical," which means
    the Rams owe him $250,000 but that the effect on the salary cap is the same as
    if he simply had been released. The "hit" is $1.82 million this year and $5.47
    million in 2006.

    Turley signed a six-year, $26.5 million deal with the Rams after he was
    acquired in a trade with New Orleans in March of 2003.

    Turley, 28, underwent surgery on a herniated disc in March of 2004 after
    starting all 16 games at right tackle the previous season, his first with the
    Rams. Turley reinjured his back early in training camp last July and was placed
    on the injured reserve list Aug. 28.

    Additional surgery was not performed, and Turley said in a recent interview
    with the Post-Dispatch that he had been training daily since early January at
    the Athletes Performance Institute in Tempe, Ariz. After dropping some 65
    pounds from his playing weight, down to 235, the 6-foot-5 Turley reported that
    he'd added about 30 pounds and hoped to play in the NFL this year.

    Still, Turley acknowledged that he probably couldn't add enough bulk to man an
    offensive line position this year, so he hinted that he'd be interested in a
    different position - perhaps tight end or defensive end.

    "As far as the team goes, I don't know what their thoughts are," he said.
    "Obviously, they signed a contract with me to play offensive line, and they
    don't know what I would do at another position. So, that's probably a big
    question in their mind. ...

    "(But) it might take another year possibly to continue putting the weight on,
    making it good weight, and not just going out and eating a bunch of Krispy
    Kreme doughnuts and burritos at 2 in the morning, to get back up to 300

    It probably never would've gotten that far with the Rams, particularly after
    Turley's well-publicized offseason clash with coach Mike Martz. Their rift
    began when Martz became irritated that Turley wasn't returning his phone calls
    after leaving training camp in Macomb, Ill., to seek evaluations of his back

    A conversation between the two in mid-December in Martz's Rams Park office
    escalated into a shouting match and ultimately led Martz to file a complaint...
    -06-07-2005, 01:57 AM
  • RamWraith
    Turley to IR Tuesday
    by RamWraith
    John Clayton is a senior writer for

    Now that he's learned he's out for the season, St. Louis Rams right tackle Kyle Turley will take some time to determine what to do next. Every medical checkup revealed another bulging disc above the area that required surgery in the offseason.

    The prognosis was to have a second operation. The only way he could have played was to take epidural shots to relieve the pain, but that would do nothing to fix the problem. The Rams' offensive line is in trouble now that injured center Dave Wohlabaugh has been released and Turley won't be available.

    The Rams are expected to put Turley on injured reserve before Tuesday's roster cutdowns to 65 players.

    The back problems put the long-term future of Turley in question. He turns 29 on Sept. 24 and has 95 starts during his six-year career. Last season he signed a six-year, $31 million contract that included $10.9 million in guarantees.

    His presence along with the addition of Wohlabaugh solidified the blocking for quarterback Marc Bulger, who is not the most mobile quarterback. The improved blocking allowed the Rams to get back into the playoffs last season.

    Turley's back started bothering him during the first couple days of training camp. Before camp was a week old, Turley left Macomb, Ill., and starting visiting doctors.

    The final prognosis came Wednesday afternoon when a couple of specialists confirmed that his back was not healthy enough to withstand the season.

    The Rams acquired Turley from the Saints for a second round choice in the 2004 draft. He was the seventh pick of the 1998 draft by New Orleans.
    -08-26-2004, 07:35 AM
  • RamDez
    Rams' Turley says he may retire
    by RamDez

    Rams' Turley says he may retire


    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    ST. LOUIS - (KRT) - Offensive tackle Kyle Turley, who will sit out the entire 2004 season for the St. Louis Rams due to a back injury, is mulling retirement.

    The 28-year-old Turley left training camp three weeks ago to seek out the opinion of several back specialists, and was told that he will likely require a second operation on the herniated disc in his back if he ever wants to return to the football field.

    If Turley opts for the operation, he probably wouldn`t be healthy enough to play until midway through the 2005 season. reported that Turley`s friends say he is not yet mentally prepared for the rigors of such a lengthy rehabilitation.

    There`s also no guarantee that the surgery will permanently correct Turley`s chronic back problems.

    Turley, appearing on Fox Sports Net`s "Best Damn Sports Show Period" on Thursday, said it was 50-50 whether he`d ever play again.

    "There`s the quality of life after football," Turley said in an interview on FSN Midwest. "I want to be able to pick my kids up when I`m 40 years old and carry them around."

    Turley failed to return several telephone calls from Rams coach Mike Martz in the week after he left training camp.

    "At the time, when things we`re going on, and Mike came on the air and talked about how I didn`t call him back, I was traveling around," Turley said. "And, it was a situation that I had not been used to dealing with. I was angry in some cases that this (injury) happened again and in other cases very disheartened. I didn`t return a lot of telephone calls."

    If Turley does retire, the Rams could seek the return of a portion of the $10 million signing bonus he received when they acquired him in a trade with the New Orleans Saints in March, 2003.

    Turley has been placed on injured reserve for this season. He`ll count $2.36 million against the Rams` salary cap for 2004.

    Turley was a model of durability before the back injury. He had missed only one game in six previous NFL seasons.

    The loss of Turley and center Dave Wohlabaugh, who was released after failing to comeback from off-season hip surgery, was a big blow for the Rams` offensive line.

    Compounding matters is the holdout of Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Pace, who has yet to sign the one-year, $7.05 million tender as the team`s franchise agent.

    The Rams are in the process of finalizing their roster. They must trim 12 players by 3 p.m. on Sunday to get down to the NFL regular-season limit of 53 players....
    -09-05-2004, 05:59 AM
  • RamWraith
    Can this marriage be saved?
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Jun. 01 2005

    Call him irrationally stubborn. Call him sadly delusional. Or call him
    cunningly shrewd as he attempts to position himself for future work in the NFL.

    Whatever the proper label, offensive tackle Kyle Turley wavers only slightly in
    his belief that his days with the Rams are not about to end. "Stranger things
    have happened, so I'm not going to rule it out," he said. "But I don't
    anticipate that happening."

    Realistically, Turley appears to be on the verge of becoming an ex-Ram -
    perhaps as early as today. June 2 is the first day that NFL teams can release
    players and spread the effect on the salary cap over two years rather than one.
    A year ago today, the Rams cut quarterback Kurt Warner, their Super Bowl MVP in

    Although he reports that the recovery from the back injury that sidelined him
    for the 2004 season "is going really well," Turley figures to be the headliner
    on this year's hit list. "If they do release me, then they'd be making a big
    mistake at this point," said Turley, 28. "The back's feeling really good. The
    biggest problem right now is the ... severe atrophy of my right leg muscles
    that I've been struggling to recover from.

    "That's a rigorous and long process, but it's coming back slowly but surely."

    Still, the team appears to have little use for Turley, especially considering
    the heft of his contract: He signed a six-year, $26.5 million deal after the
    Rams acquired him from New Orleans in March 2003 for their second-round draft
    pick in '04. Had Turley been released before today, the team would have
    suffered a $7.29 million salary cap hit this year. Now, only $1.82 million
    would count against the '05 cap, with the remaining $5.47 million applied next

    Coach Mike Martz declined on Wednesday to discuss Turley's status, and attempts
    to reach Jay Zygmunt, the Rams' president of football operations, were

    Turley's agent, Tom Condon, did not return a phone message.

    Orlando Pace, finally locked up in a long-term deal, is one of the league's
    premier left tackles. The Rams took Florida State's Alex Barron in the first
    round of the draft, and Martz installed him as the No. 1 right tackle - the job
    that Turley held during the 2003 season.

    Grant Williams, Blaine Saipaia and Scott Tercero also have started at tackle.
    So, depth shouldn't be a major issue.

    Turley came to St. Louis after five seasons with the Saints. A first-round
    draft pick (seventh overall) out of San Diego State in 1998, Turley was a
    starter from Day...
    -06-02-2005, 05:23 AM
  • RamWraith
    Turley goes on IR, is out for season
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Aug. 28 2004

    A veteran offensive tackle made news Saturday at Rams Park. But, no, it wasn't
    Orlando Pace, whose arrival is expected soon but hasn't taken place just yet.

    The report involved Kyle Turley, and it actually only made the inevitable
    official: Rams coach Mike Martz announced that Turley had been placed on the
    injured reserve list, meaning that he'll be sidelined for the season.

    Turley, a seven-year NFL veteran, underwent surgery in March for a bulging disc
    in his back. He sat out team drills at minicamp in May but participated fully
    when training camp workouts began July 28 at Western Illinois University. After
    three days of practice, Turley felt pain in the same area and soon thereafter
    left Macomb, Ill., for tests.

    His agent, Tom Condon, told the Post-Dispatch last week that Turley "herniated
    the same disc, and he's got a bulging disc above that. It's just a matter of
    what you do about it." Turley was obtained in a March 2003 trade with New
    Orleans and he was signed to a six-year, $30 million contract. The Rams gave up
    a second-round pick in this year's draft as part of that deal.

    Turley will count $2.36 million against the salary cap this year.

    A somewhat tight-lipped Martz said Saturday that he didn't know what Turley,
    28, might do about his back. "I talked to Kyle today, and he was very vague
    about his plans," Martz said. When asked whether Turley's loss would be a blow
    to the offensive line, Martz said simply, "I'm happy with the guys we have."

    Grant Williams, a nine-year veteran who has been filling in for Pace at left
    tackle, probably will slide over to Turley's spot on the right side once Pace
    shows up. Although Martz said Williams "had his best game so far" Friday night
    in a 28-3 victory over Washington, he could face a challenge from Scott
    Tercero, who has had a strong preseason at right tackle.

    Andy McCollum is set at center, as is Adam Timmerman at right guard. Chris
    Dishman, a free agent signed during camp, apparently has nailed down the left
    guard job.

    Loyd goes down

    Joining Turley on injured reserve is linebacker Jeremy Loyd, who suffered a
    torn pectoral tendon Friday night on a special-teams play. Martz said that Loyd
    would have surgery and that rehabilitation would take three to four months.

    Rams make cuts

    Six players were released Saturday: tight end Nick Burley, wide receiver
    Michael Coleman, cornerback Robert Cromartie, quarterback Russ Michna,
    defensive tackle Justin Montgomery and cornerback Corey Yates.
    -08-29-2004, 08:29 AM