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With Opener Nearing, Wounded Rams Are Returning

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  • With Opener Nearing, Wounded Rams Are Returning

    08.28.2009 5:31 pm
    With opener nearing, wounded Rams are returning
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    As the regular season approaches, the St. Louis Rams are getting progressively healthier. It appears that they came out of Thursday night’s game at Cincinnati with no major injuries, and several players who have been out for a while are getting close to a full return.

    Wide receiver Tim Carter (groin) and running back Kenneth Darby (knee) played in the 24-21 victory over the Bengals despite not practicing all week. Wideout Donnie Avery (foot), defensive tackle Adam Carriker (ankle), guard Jacob Bell (concussion) and defensive end Leonard Little (knee) are expected to practice this week and could play Thursday night in the preseason finale vs. the Chiefs.

    Also, coach Steve Spagnuolo reported that quarterback Marc Bulger (finger) will throw some this week, although he might not take snaps. Bulger probably will sit out Thursday.

    The status of three players who were injured at Cincy — wideout Keenan Burton (knee), safety Craig Dahl (hamstring) and cornerback Justin King (thumb) — was not updated Friday. But none of the injuries is believed to be serious.

    Notes & quotes:

    The Rams have scored 40 points off nine turnovers in the three preseason games. During the entire regular season in 2008, the club produced just 45 points off turnovers.

    RB Samkon Gado has a team-high 5.7-yard average on 23 carries. The two other primary contenders for the backup job behind Steven Jackson – Antonio Pittman and Kenneth Darby – are averaging 4.0 and 3.1 yards, respectively.

    Rookie LB James Laurinaitis has come up with a takeaway in each of the last two games: an interception vs. the Falcons, then a fumble recovery vs. the Bengals.

    Laurent Robinson is the club’s top receiver, with 10 catches for 137 yards.
    A total of 17 players have caught at least one pass.

    Spagnuolo gave the players Saturday off. Practice resumes Sunday at Rams Park.

    The first cuts must be made by Tuesday, although only five spots have to be trimmed off the 80-man camp roster. The final 22 cuts come just four days later.

    All for now . . .

  • #2
    Re: With Opener Nearing, Wounded Rams Are Returning

    The Rams have scored 40 points off nine turnovers in the three preseason games. During the entire regular season in 2008, the club produced just 45 points off turnovers.
    That's solid, guys! However, I would be amiss to not acknowledge that this means only 20 points have been scored from full Offensive drives.

    But hey, if the D can keep funneling the ball to the O, only good things will come from it.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.


    • #3
      Re: With Opener Nearing, Wounded Rams Are Returning

      Originally posted by HUbison
      That's solid, guys! However, I would be amiss to not acknowledge that this means only 20 points have been scored from full Offensive drives.

      But hey, if the D can keep funneling the ball to the O, only good things will come from it.
      Absolutely. If the defense can carry their turnover creating ways into the regular season, it will pay dividends.


      • #4
        Re: With Opener Nearing, Wounded Rams Are Returning

        We just need to come out of the KS game injury free. GO RAMS!!!


        Related Topics


        • Rambos
          Rams put work into the last cuts
          by Rambos

          The lights at Rams Park were on late Friday night as the Rams' coaches, scouts and other personnel staffers labored to come up with a 53-man roster. They have until 3 p.m. today (St. Louis time) to complete the job.

          Several NFL teams announced at least some of their final cuts Friday, but coach Steve Spagnuolo said he didn't expect the Rams to be finished until about noon today. "And don't hold me to that," he cautioned reporters.

          The roster stood at 74 after Thursday night's 17-9 Governor's Cup win over Kansas City. The first-teamers were in for just two series, both on offense and defense, so Spagnuolo and Co. got a lengthy look at those players on the bubble.
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          Some 21 of them must go. "We could use two more preseason games to get it all figured out," Spagnuolo quipped, before adding: "We have what we have, and we have to evaluate based on that."


          Muddying the picture for the Rams' talent judges is the rib injury suffered by Samkon Gado late in the first quarter vs. the Chiefs. X-rays showed no fracture, but Gado has cartilage damage, which can be a significant problem for a running back.

          Spagnuolo said Gado was day-to-day for now, but acknowledged that "we're not really a hundred percent sure where Sam is. You'd probably have to list him as questionable right now for the game (at Seattle on Sept. 13) until we get to (the practices) Monday and Wednesday and find out exactly where he is."

          In the preseason, Gado clearly has outperformed Kenneth Darby and Antonio Pittman, the other primary contenders for the backup job behind Steven Jackson. Gado averaged 5.1 yards on 29 carries in the four games.

          If it looks as if Gado will be sidelined for a substantial period, the Rams almost surely will be scrutinizing the waiver wire for another ballcarrier.

          "You've got to have more than one back," Spagnuolo said. "Steven's a big guy and does a lot for us, but we're going to need to plug guys in there."


          The injury to Gado and defensive tackle Adam Carriker, who according to league sources will undergo shoulder surgery, were the most serious Thursday. It was feared that defensive end Eric Moore broke his wrist, but X-rays were negative and it has been diagnosed as a sprain.

          Also, safety Craig Dahl aggravated the hamstring that kept him out earlier, safety David Roach sustained heel and shoulder injuries, and cornerback Justin King had a mild knee sprain.

          BREAK TIME

          Beginning Friday, the players had three consecutive...
          -09-05-2009, 10:00 AM
        • r8rh8rmike
          Gado Is Planning To Rebound/Camp Notes
          by r8rh8rmike
          Gado is planning to rebound
          BY BILL COATS

          Sunday's two-hour practice at Rams Park was beginning to wind down when defensive end Leonard Little apparently decided that he could fly. That's what it seemed like to Samkon Gado, anyway.

          During 11-on-11 "team" drills, Little came barreling in, and Gado moved into position to pass block. Suddenly, the 6-foot-3, 267-pound Little took off, literally attempting to hurdle the 5-10 running back en route to the quarterback.

          "It was pretty spectacular," said Gado, who rose up and caught Little in flight. "In a game, he would've jumped right over me."

          At 34, Little is the second-oldest among the 80 players on the roster. "I thought to myself, 'How does he have the energy to do this in his 12th season?'" Gado said. "He said he took his Geritol this morning and was feeling pretty good."

          Gado was feeling pretty good, too, after rushing for 93 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown run, Aug. 14 in the Rams' 23-20 preseason win over the New York Jets. That showing gave him a slight leg up in the three-man competition for the backup job behind Steven Jackson.

          But as Gado pointed out afterward, three preseason outings remained. And No. 2 was far less satisfying for him. He mustered just 5 yards on 12 carries Friday night in a 20-13 loss to Atlanta. He also lost a fumble at the Falcons' 15-yard line late in the first half.

          "It was tough all around," Gado said. "I made a few mistakes that I wish I could have back. But in the end, it's just the nature of the beast; you're going to have games like that.

          "You put that one behind you and you prepare and plan to do better the next game. Thankfully we have another one coming up" Thursday in Cincinnati.


          Although the regular-season opener is still three weeks away, training camp officially ended Sunday. That means that no more practices will be open to the public.

          About 500 spectators showed up Sunday, and they were rewarded afterward with free Rams merchandise. Also, the entire squad walked over to the railing to sign autographs.

          "I'd like to thank all the fans," rookie head coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "It's been 32 practices, and the people have come out to watch us. ... It really helps us, and we appreciate it. Looking forward, we appreciate all the support they'll give us."


          Injured defensive tackle Adam Carriker took another step in his recovery, participating in individual drills for the first time since he sprained his ankle Aug. 7 in a scrimmage at Lindenwood University.

          Wide receiver Donnie Avery, who broke a bone in his foot the same night, was supposed...
          -08-23-2009, 11:18 PM
        • r8rh8rmike
          Rams Team Report - Aug 24
          by r8rh8rmike
          Rams Team Report
          Yahoo! Sports
          Aug 24, 4:19 am EDT

          INSIDE SLANT

          It seemed like just another transaction when the Rams acquired wide receiver Laurent Robinson(notes) in a trade with Atlanta before the draft.

          The two teams swapped positions in the fifth and sixth rounds, and Robinson immediately began working to prove to the Falcons they made a mistake by giving up on him.

          Last Friday night, Robinson caught five passes for 65 yards against his former team, and appears to be a lock to start when the season opens Sept. 13 in Seattle.

          Robinson opened OTAs as the No. 3 receiver, then moved up to the first unit when Keenan Burton(notes) suffered a hamstring injury. He opened camp as a starter, and with Donnie Avery(notes) sidelined by a broken bone in his foot, Robinson has become the go-to receiver for both Marc Bulger(notes) and Kyle Boller(notes).

          He had a 50-yard catch from Bulger in the first preseason game, and one for 25 yards from Boller in the second game. In two games, he has seven receptions for 117 yards and has been the target on 10 passes.

          “I feel good,” Robinson said. “I’m just working hard every day in practice, going out there trying to be the best I can be every day, listening to the coach; I mean, and just being coachable and going out there and executing. The offense is great, I’m very confident and comfortable in it, and hopefully I can just continue on in the regular season.

          “It’s a great opportunity here for me. Hopefully I can just step right in, make some plays, and help the team win anyway I can whether that’s by running, blocking, or catching the ball.”

          Robinson acknowledged struggling when he arrived in St. Louis, having to learn a new offense. But he didn’t waste his time in the six weeks after OTAs ended, and training camp began.

          “I went home and I just trained and just got my confidence back,” Robinson said, “After the trade I guess I wasn’t really all that focused. Now I got my focus back and my confidence up and I’m ready to play.

          “I’m just getting a lot more comfortable playing and making catches. In the OTAs I wasn’t doing so well but now I’m just a lot more comfortable and confident so things are going well for me.”

          Coach Steve Spagnuolo likes what he sees.

          “I see a competitive guy,” Spagnuolo said. “When he first got here in the spring like a lot of guys, he was feeling his way through. It was a new team, it was a new system, but I thought he played really well (Friday) night. It was easy to see that.”

          NOTES, QUOTES

          • Falcons running back Michael Turner(notes) picked up right where he left off against the Rams in the second preseason game. In the final game of the regular...
          -08-25-2009, 12:15 AM
        • r8rh8rmike
          Rams Punt Coverage Takes Beating
          by r8rh8rmike
          Rams punt coverage takes beating

          BY JIM THOMAS

          CINCINNATI — One of the best things about the Rams' special teams units this preseason had been their punt coverage. Over the first two preseason games, the Rams had allowed a meager 2.2 yards per punt return, with no return longer than eight yards.

          But that gaudy average ballooned upward in the span of a few quick seconds Thursday at Paul Brown Stadium. After a three-and-out series by St. Louis to open the game, Quan Cosby took a short Donnie Jones punt and raced 49 yards for a touchdown just 66 seconds into the contest.

          Cosby made James Butler miss right away in the middle of the field, and then had nothing but Jones between him and the end zone. Cosby outraced Jones down the right sideline for the score.

          "You can't miss tackles," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "It's like last week on defense, we had too many missed tackles. So it's the same thing on special teams ... you've got to be able to tackle. We'll find a way to get that ironed up."

          Besides getting gashed for a TD, Rams special teams also were guilty of two penalties in the opening quarter. Safety David Roach was flagged for an illegal block in the back on the opening kickoff, and offensive guard Richie Incognito was guilty of a false start on Josh Brown's extra point attempt after the Rams' first touchdown.

          It was just the start of what would be a 10-penalty night (for 89 yards). The Rams had only 10 penalties — total — in their first two exhibition games.

          "The biggest disappointment was the penalties," Spagnuolo said. "We overcame the penalties because we had four turnovers. But I don't think you're going to win many games in the NFL with 10 penalties."

          The punt coverage unit sprang another big leak in the third quarter, when Cincy's Tom Nelson raced 44 yards with a Jones punt, again finding wide-open spaces in the middle of the field.


          Strongside linebacker Chris Draft and defensive tackle Gary Gibson saw limited action Thursday for an unusual reason.

          "They both have asthma," Spagnuolo said. "And I don't know if you saw but there was a car on fire (near the south end zone), and I guess the smoke got to both of them."

          Wide receiver Keenan Burton had one catch for eight yards in the first quarter, but tweaked his ankle and was held out thereafter for precautionary reasons. Backup safety Craig Dahl left the game with a sore hamstring. He missed time early in training camp with a hamstring injury.

          SITTING IT OUT

          QB Marc Bulger (finger) and LG Jacob Bell (concussion) were the only players who didn't dress for the Rams. (WR Brooks Foster remained in St. Louis following ankle surgery).

          -08-28-2009, 06:09 PM
        • r8rh8rmike
          Starters Could Play Into Second Half At Cinncinnati
          by r8rh8rmike
          08.23.2009 6:55 pm
          Starters could play into second half at Cincinnati
          By Bill Coats
          St. Louis Post-Dispatch

          The third preseason game often is regarded as the most important of the four, because the starters generally don’t see much action in the last exhibition with the regular-season opener looming. So, their last real dry run is coming up this week.

          The Rams meet the Bengals on Thursday night in Cincinnati, and coach Steve Spagnuolo said Sunday that he plans to keep his No. 1 units on the field at least through the first half.

          “It’ll be similar to this past game” Friday vs. Atlanta,” he said. “The question will be, do we bring out our first group in the second half? We haven’t really decided that. A lot depends what the total of plays are in a certain point in the game. So we’ll see what happens.”

          Notes & quotes:

          *The offense was a bit sloppy Sunday, with a couple of dropped passes and a botched exhance between QB Kyle Boller and C Jason Brown, in the first practice since the 20-13 loss to the Falcons.

          *With Jason Bell (concussion) still out, Mark Setterstrom and John Greco again shared first-team snaps at left guard.

          *Alex Barron (knee) was back at left tackle, which meant that Adam Goldberg returned to the right side. Rookie Jason Smith got a couple of reps with the “ones” at both tackle spots.

          *WR Sean Walker took some turns at kick-returning.

          *DT Adam Carriker (ankle) and WR Donnie Avery (foot) appear to be fairly close to getting back into action.

          *RB Kenneth Darby sat out with what is believed to be a slight knee sprain. “It’ll be a day-to-day thing. They don’t think it’s real serious, but they want to be careful,” Spagnuolo reported.

          *The latest national writer to take in a Rams practice is Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports.

          All for now . . .
          -08-23-2009, 11:12 PM