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Gordon on the Mend

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  • Gordon on the Mend

    riday, August 27, 2004

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    There has been no shortage of injuries to Rams’ running backs in the past few years. From the knee problems of Marshall Faulk to Arlen Harris’ slight concussion, the injuries have ranged from serious to minor. Lamar Gordon is no different from his backfield mates.

    The only difference between Gordon and the other running backs is Gordon knew he was injured, but nobody else seemed to understand. Gordon complained about sharp pain in his left ankle for the better part of the past few years. He estimates that he has felt the pain since his junior year of college and had the foot looked at countless times.

    A few weeks ago, the doctors finally found what Gordon knew was there all along. Gordon had what coach Mike Martz described as “chips” in his ankle that were almost undetectable. On Aug. 10, Gordon had surgery on the ankle at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in St. Louis.

    Now that Gordon has had surgery on his left foot, he is back running and edging closer to being able to play in St. Louis’ season opener against Arizona on Sept. 12. His expected recovery time was about four weeks, but Gordon seems to be progressing slightly ahead of the curve. “It feels good to really feel no pain right now,” Gordon said. “I could always feel it, but sometimes it just swelled up too bad. I know the difference between that pain and a simple cut that has to heal and that pain was gone.”

    Gordon ran for the first time on Wednesday and felt good enough after that session to run again Thursday afternoon. Gordon first had his foot looked at in college at North Dakota State, but had it checked numerous times, including at the combine. The injury did not show up in any of those checks and Gordon performed well enough for the Rams to draft him in the third round of the 2002 draft.

    Gordon said it was exasperating to know he was injured, but none of the tests confirming his pain.

    “It was so frustrating because I know my body,” Gordon said. “I have played football for a long time, I know when something’s sore, I know when’s something hurt, but I know from watching film if something is going to be bothering me.”

    Martz had his doubts about the injury, but had no way of knowing that Gordon was hurt because he couldn’t see the injury on an X-Ray and couldn’t physically feel the pain. Martz publicly apologized to Gordon after he found out the injury was real.

    Gordon said Martz didn’t owe him anything, but it was nice to hear the coach do it anyway.

    “I guess it was cool,” Gordon said. “I never really thought about it like that. A lot of people asked me ‘We’re you like I told you so?’ I wasn’t really like that. I was just happy that they found it and I’m excited to get back.”

    INJURY UPDATES: There was little change on the injury front at Thursday’s practice. Jimmy Kennedy (foot), Jeremy Phillips (neck) and Adam Timmerman (shoulder) were the only Rams to do almost no work.

    Robert Cromartie (hamstring), DeJuan Groce (knee) and Gordon did some running work.

    Martz said tackle Grant Williams is coming along better, also.

    “His big issue isn’t so much the pain as just keeping that thing strong,” Martz said. “It is getting stronger again, so I think he feels much better now than he did a week ago.”

    THE GREAT OUTDOORS: The Rams practiced outside for the first time since leaving Macomb one week ago. They were greeted by the hottest day of training camp.

    JUST VISITING: Cable station VH-1 recorded promos today at Rams Park with a host of Rams players that will run during home games at the Edward Jones Dome. Contrary to his claims, defensive end Bryce Fisher was not the subject of a “Fabulous Life of Bryce Fisher” biopic on the channel as Fisher joked after practice.

    ROSTER MOVE: The Rams made a roster move late Wednesday, releasing G Jason Lensmeier, a rookie from New Mexico.

Related Topics


  • RamWraith
    No pain is gain as Gordon recovers from ankle surgery
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Sunday, Aug. 29 2004

    It's been a good-news month for Rams running back Lamar Gordon.

    First, he was informed that after a multitude of tests on his chronically sore
    left ankle had failed to find the source of the problem, a bone chip had been
    detected. Gordon, who had surgery Aug. 10, was both stunned and thrilled.

    "I was like, 'Are you sure?'" he said. "Then I was thinking, 'This is it, this
    is it.'"

    Then, Gordon enjoyed another positive development when he woke up last
    Wednesday morning, the day after he ran for the first time since the operation.
    He was essentially pain-free. "That was the biggest challenge, to see how sore
    I was going to be. And I'm feeling pretty good," Gordon said.

    Feeling good was a luxury that Gordon hadn't experienced since he injured the
    ankle while he was collecting virtually all of the major rushing records at
    North Dakota State. The discomfort persisted, but doctors could detect no

    Such was the case during his first two years with the Rams. He would complain,
    exams would be made, nothing would show up.

    Although Gordon was productive, rushing 136 times for 525 yards and catching 38
    passes for 337 yards in those two seasons, coach Mike Martz acknowledged that
    at times he questioned whether Gordon was tough enough for the NFL. After the
    more recent diagnosis, Martz apologized profusely for doubting him.

    "It was so frustrating," said Gordon, 24. "I know my body. I've been
    playing football a long time, and I know when I'm sore or when something's
    hurting and I can get through it. But this ... I couldn't really take it

    Gordon said that whenever he took a step, "it felt like there was something
    sharp in my foot, and I wanted to get off that foot as quick as possible."

    The original prognosis was that Gordon would be out a month, and he appears to
    be on schedule. Martz said Gordon might be ready for the regular-season opener
    Sept. 12 vs. Arizona at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Whether it's that Sunday or the next, Gordon simply is enjoying being able to
    move without the nagging sting in his ankle. "I was just happy that they found
    it, and I'm excited to get back," he said.

    Dishman may start
    at left guard

    When the Rams lured veteran Chris Dishman out of retirement last month, they
    probably figured they merely were adding depth to the offensive line. Now it
    looks as if they may have found a starter.

    Dishman, 30, appears to have a solid hold on the left guard job. He played the
    -08-30-2004, 06:44 AM
  • RamWraith
    Martz regrets doubting RB Gordon
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    MACOMB, Ill. - The left ankle problem cropped up in Lamar Gordon's first training camp with the Rams, in 2002. Before long, it became a recurring theme: Just when it seemed Gordon was laying the groundwork for a solid NFL career at running back, the ankle problem returned and he returned to the sideline.

    It got to the point that some questioned his durability and toughness. Count coach Mike Martz in that group.

    "I'm embarrassed and ashamed in my attitude towards him, because obviously he was in a great deal of pain," Martz said Monday. "When a guy is (complaining of pain), you've just got to trust what he's telling you. And this is one of the times in my career, I feel humiliated and feel stupid. I owe him an apology, because he certainly is very tough."

    Trouble was, several medical examinations never showed anything that could be causing the pain that Gordon said he felt.

    "We MRI-ed it. We did the X-rays. We did every diagnostic test we could," Martz said.

    Yet Gordon would complain of pain, even though there often was no swelling in the ankle. Even Gordon began to doubt himself.

    "We did all these tests, and they didn't find anything," Gordon said. "So I'm really thinking, 'I'm making this up myself.'"

    Frustration sets in

    The situation grew particularly frustrating in the current training camp.

    "It really flared up as camp went on," Gordon said. "I was watching myself on film (of practice), and I was looking terrible. I was hurting so bad, I knew something was wrong. I couldn't even take it any more."

    But finally, a bone scan was performed on the ankle, and it showed enough of an irregularity that surgery was necessary.

    What Martz called a significant bone chip was found and removed from the ankle in surgery on Aug. 10.

    To say that Gordon and the Rams were relieved to find the cause of the pain - and hopefully, eradicate it - would be big understatement.

    "I'm just excited to go through the surgery process, get this healed up, and move on and play some ball," Gordon said.

    Gordon returned to Macomb on Sunday, with his left leg encased in a small cast, and wielding a crutch to help him get around.

    "I can pretty much walk around without it, but they're worried about my ankle swelling up, and splitting the stitches," Gordon said. "Because there's no pain when I walk."

    Back by opener?

    The cast comes off Friday, after which Gordon still has about 2 1/2 weeks of rehab time before he's ready to play. So is it realistic to think he could be ready for the season opener, Sept. 12 against Arizona?

    "I think...
    -08-17-2004, 05:41 AM
  • RamDez
    Gordon's output bodes well for Rams' depth
    by RamDez
    Gordon's output bodes well for Rams' depth
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Sep. 03 2004

    The plan Thursday was to put on the uniform, see how he felt in pregame
    warmups and take it from there. Little did Lamar Gordon know he would end up
    carrying the football 22 times against Oakland.

    "No, I didn't expect it, but I was kind of ready for it," Gordon said.
    "Mentally, I was ready."

    Ready, because he knew the Rams wanted to emphasize the running game in their
    preseason finale.

    "So I was just trying to go for it, and trying to be at my best," Gordon said.

    Gordon gained 77 yards on those 22 carries, including a two-yard touchdown run
    in the fourth quarter of the Rams' 28-24 loss to the Raiders.

    Gordon's career high for rushing attempts is 21, which came last Sept. 28
    against Arizona - one week after Marshall Faulk suffered a fractured hand in
    Seattle. Gordon had not carried more than 12 times in any exhibition game.
    Until Thursday, that is.

    It was an amazing performance considering Gordon was just 23 days removed from
    surgery to remove bone chips from his left ankle. The original timetable called
    for Gordon to be sidelined for a month.

    "I pushed myself," Gordon said. "The second day after the surgery, I felt that
    (the pain) was gone. It was still sore from the surgery, but I was in my house
    doing stuff I shouldn't have been doing. Just walking around. I was supposed to
    have a crutch. I was like: 'The surgery's a success. I can't wait to get

    In case they'd forgotten, Gordon returned just in time to remind the coaching
    staff and front office that he can be a viable backfield option.

    Faulk looked sharp on the opening drive against the Raiders, carrying three
    times and catching two passes, one a 7-yard TD reception.

    "I liked what I saw from Marshall," coach Mike Martz said. "I was tempted to
    leave him in a little bit longer, because I knew we were going to try to pound
    the ball a little bit. But from what I saw, he was going fast."

    Rookie Steven Jackson logged 72 yards on 12 carries against Oakland to finish
    the preseason with 323 rushing yards.

    "I think it just proves to my coaching staff, and the people that were
    intrigued by Steven Jackson, it lets them know what level I'm capable of
    playing at," Jackson said.

    And now comes Gordon, who ran powerfully and decisively Thursday, showing an
    occasional burst in the process.

    Martz said he wanted Gordon to get a substantial workload "if he could take it.
    But the more we played him, I guess, the better he played.

    -09-04-2004, 12:58 AM
  • RamWraith
    Gordon out 4 weeks
    by RamWraith
    Martz updates players' conditions

    Associated Press

    MACOMB, Ill. - The Rams prepared Monday for their first exhibition game Thursday night against the Chicago Bears at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Rams coach Mike Martz provided an update on injured players, and how they're doing before the preseason begins.

    Martz said he still is not sure what the prognosis will be for veteran tackle Kyle Turley, who left camp last week seeking medical advice for a back strain.

    Turley left the field on a cart during a July 31 practice. He has been trying to build his strength since back surgery in March, after which he lost about 30 pounds and experienced atrophy in his right leg.

    "He's very frustrated," said Martz. "We've just got to get a conclusion medically in terms of a course of action that he needs to take. We're not there yet."

    Martz said third-year running back Lamar Gordon will probably have ankle surgery Tuesday, possibly due to a bone chip, and could be out four weeks.

    "Lamar has been complaining about his ankle, but nothing has showed up on the MRI or the X-rays," he said. "They would like to go in there and explore and see if they can't take care of that. He's been really consistent with this pain and in the same spot."

    Martz said offensive tackle Jeremy Phillips returned to St. Louis to get a scan done on his injured shoulder.

    The Rams will hold single afternoon practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. They will go through a brief workout early Thursday morning in Macomb before heading to St. Louis for the exhibition opener.
    -08-10-2004, 05:51 AM
  • AvengerRam_old
    Showcase of Gordon Paid Off
    by AvengerRam_old
    I'll admit... I'm surprised.

    I would not have guessed that the Rams would have been able to acquire a 3rd Round pick for Gordon.

    Not that Gordon doesn't have potential. He could prove to be a 1,000 yard back for the Dolphins.

    But with the Rams, he was a third string back with only moderate production in the past and a recent surgery.

    So how did the Rams get such a high price for him?

    Obviously, part of the reason is the Dolphins' deperate need for a back after Ricky Williams decided that the grass at Pro Player Stadium does not compare to the kind you buy in Amsterdam.

    But the Rams also played this one very well.

    First, Martz publicly chastised himself for suggesting that Gordon was soft after it was revealed that Lamar needed surgery to remove a bone chip. While I believe that was a sincere expression of regret by Martz, he also made sure that other teams heard his confession.

    Then, in the final preseason game, Gordon was deliberately showcased, as he was given the ball 24 times (22 carries, 2 receptions). He showed productivity and the ability to be a workhorse - and the Dolphins paid a higher than market value price because of this.

    While the Rams could regret the trade this year if the injury bug hits, in the long run, this should be a good trade for the Rams (and, for Lamar's sake, hopefully for the Dolphins as well).
    -09-08-2004, 07:41 PM