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  • Rams Deal with Injuries

    Rams Deal with Injuries
    Monday, September 28, 2009
    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    The Rams spent most of the past 24 hours waiting anxiously for injury news on a few of their most important pieces. What they got in return was a mixed bag of better than expected and worse than feared.

    In Sunday’s loss to Green Bay, the Rams were hit hard by the injury bug as it seemed not a quarter went by without another ailment striking someone down. None were bigger than quarterback Marc Bulger’s right shoulder injury; safety James Butler’s left knee injury and receiver Laurent Robinson’s right ankle injury.

    Still, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo and Co. held out hope that further examinations on Monday morning would came back better than expected. In two of those cases, perhaps it did. On another, not so much.

    Spagnuolo announced Monday afternoon that the player hit the worst was Robinson, who suffered a high ankle sprain and what Spagnuolo described as a “fracture high on his fibula.”

    Translation: Robinson will need surgery in the coming days and will almost certainly be out for the rest of the season.

    “The most significant one was Laurent Robinson, who is going to require surgery,” Spagnuolo said. “It was a high ankle sprain and also a fracture high on his fibula. He will pretty much be done.”

    The news about Robinson is particularly disappointing considering how he had established himself since coming to the Rams in a trade during the offseason.

    Robinson had emerged as the Rams’ most consistent receiving threat, posting a team-leading 13 catches with 167 yards and a touchdown in his two plus games.

    But a simple running play to the left side in which Robinson was out front blocking resulted in the end of his season when the pile rolled up on his right leg from behind.

    “I thought he had done a really good job, the whole season,” Spagnuolo said. “The whole wealth of his work, preseason on, I thought he had done an excellent job. He was a tremendous addition to this team. It was a good move by Billy when he pulled the trigger on that. Unfortunately for us and for him, he will probably be out the rest of the season.”

    From there, the news was a little brighter on the injury front. Bulger was driven to the ground, landing on his right shoulder on two consecutive plays in the first quarter against the Packers.

    After the first one, he attempted to come back on the field but he was hit and landed almost exactly as the first hit and was unable to return to the game.

    There was a fear as recently as last night that Bulger’s injury would be extremely serious but a Monday morning MRI revealed some positive news.

    Bulger has no tear or sprain in the shoulder and was diagnosed with a bruised rotator cuff. In other words, no surgery is needed and Bulger can resume throwing and playing whenever the pain subsides.

    Spagnuolo said Bulger hasn’t even been ruled out for this week and the Rams will play it day by day with their starting signal caller.

    “He is very sore today,” Spagnuolo said. “Tomorrow when he comes in, we’ll see where he’s at. I know one thing about Marc Bulger. If there is a way for him to go and fight through pain, he’ll do that. I don’t want to speak for him but I know he is very sore today and we want to be careful with it. If he can throw Wednesday, he will. If he can’t, he won’t. My understanding is it could have been a lot worse.”

    Things also could have been much worse for Butler, especially considering the nature of knee injuries suffered in football games. Like Bulger, though, Butler got some decent news.

    Although he will have to miss time, Butler has a third degree MCL strain, an injury that also could have been worse. The timetable for his return is a little less certain though Spagnuolo said it would likely be a minimum of two weeks with a probable maximum of four.

    Of course, that timetable varies depending on the athlete.

    “It’s somewhat significant,” Spagnuolo said. “It doesn’t require surgery. All guys are different and guys recover differently from these things. But he will be out obviously this week.”

    As for the rest of the walking wounded, it appears the Rams will have plenty of day to day ailments to deal with but nothing of the more serious variety. Receiver Donnie Avery had an X ray on his ribs and it came back negative. He’s expected to be OK and will be day to day.

    Linebacker David Vobora suffered a concussion and will have the necessary tests for clearance from doctors in the next day or so. Defensive tackle Gary Gibson (leg) and linebacker James Laurinaitis (shoulder) are expected to be OK.

    Tackle Jason Smith is still battling through his knee injury but Spagnuolo upgraded him to questionable and acknowledged the possibility that Smith could return to practice this week.
    In the wake of the injury bug biting so often on Sunday, the Rams have already begun formulating contingency plans for the players who might be out and for the ones who will definitely not play.

    Robinson’s absence probably requires the most immediate attention. Spagnuolo said he has yet to talk to General Manager Billy Devaney about finding someone to come in to replace Robinson but also said something would “probably happen.”

    The Rams could bring in some receivers for a tryout or look in house to the practice squad with someone like Nate Jones. In the meantime, Ruvell Martin, who was inactive against the Packers, could now figure into the mix.

    “I think we’re headed that way,” Spagnuolo said. “He’s done some good things in practice right now and the system it was just a little terminology so we are hopeful of that.”

    Should Bulger be unable to play, the Rams would again turn to Kyle Boller with rookie Keith Null as the backup.

    Boller gave the Rams a spark against Green Bay, leading them on three scoring drives to draw the Rams within a score.

    “Kyle is a fiery guy, very confident in what he does,” Spagnuolo said. “He’d tell you he’d like to have his first two throws back yesterday but you know you get thrown in that situation and then he settled down. I thought he did a nice job. I do think going back to preseason where he had to play those games and the team understands and knows that he knows, I think there is some confidence there and I am hoping that will help us.”

    The safety situation was decided Sunday as Craig Dahl replaced Butler and played well in his stead.

    Dahl had been hampered by a hamstring injury which rendered him inactive in the first two games but made his Rams debut a success in leading the team in tackles after replacing Butler.

    :It was kind of nice to know that you can put a guy in there with limited reps and was fighting injury, and he knew the calls, knew what he was doing, he made some plays for us, had a lot of tackles,” Spagnuolo said. “It’s nice to have that.”

Related Topics


  • eldfan
    St. Louis Rams' Bulger has bruise; Robinson is done Spagnuolo says we will be ok
    by eldfan
    St. Louis Rams' Bulger has bruise; Robinson is done


    As he stepped to the podium for his regular Monday news conference, coach Steve Spagnuolo looked out the window at Rams Park and quipped: "The sun's out, that's a good sign, right? The sun came up. Everybody's OK."

    If only everybody were OK.

    The news could've been worse on quarterback Marc Bulger. Even so, he'll still probably miss a minimum of a week or two with what Spagnuolo called a bruised rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder.

    "It's not torn; it's a bruised rotator cuff," Spagnuolo said.

    Wide receiver Laurent Robinson wasn't so "lucky." Robinson, easily the Rams' top pass catcher through the preseason and early regular season, is almost certainly out for the season with a high ankle sprain and fractured fibula that will require surgery.

    Safety James Butler, in some ways the quarterback of the back seven because of his familiarity with the defensive scheme, will miss two to four weeks with a ligament injury to his left knee.

    At least there was good news with wide receiver Donnie Avery, who took a shot to the ribs late in Sunday's 36-17 loss to Green Bay. His X-rays came back negative.

    "We think he's going to be OK," Spagnuolo said. "He's a little bit sore."

    As for Bulger, he was more than a little sore. Had he suffered a torn rotator cuff, that might have ended his season. Nonetheless, sources said he couldn't lift his throwing arm Monday. And just to make sure there's no tear, he may seek a second opinion from James Andrews, the nationally known orthopedic surgeon who has offices in Birmingham, Ala., and Gulf Breeze, Fla.

    "He's very sore today," Spagnuolo said. "We'll see where he's at (today) and Wednesday, and if he'll do anything at all. ... We're going to be careful with it."

    Bulger went straight from the doctor's office Monday evening to Frontenac, where he was host of the 14th annual Make-A-Wish Foundation Celebrity Server Dinner. If Bulger helped teammates Steven Jackson, Randy McMichael, James Laurinaitis, Chris Massey and others serve dinner, he had to do so one-handed Monday night.

    On the football field, quarterback Kyle Boller will be serving up passes in the near term. Boller replaced Bulger in the first half Sunday and helped the Rams fight their way back into the contest before Green Bay pulled away with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.

    "Kyle's a fiery guy," Spagnuolo said. "Very confident in what he does. He'd tell you that he'd like to have his first two throws back (Sunday). ... But then he settled down. I thought he did a nice job."

    Boller says he'll be ready for whatever the week brings him. Against...
    -09-29-2009, 08:12 AM
  • Ramblin` Ram
    Chamberlain out for 6-8 weeks and other injury updates
    by Ramblin` Ram
    ST. LOUIS -- Rams linebacker Chris Chamberlain will be sidelined six to eight weeks with turf toe on his left foot, an injury that left him wearing a cast.

    Chamberlain, one of the team's top special-teams players, was hurt during the first half of Sunday's season-opening 17-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said Monday that Chamberlain, who already has seen a foot specialist, might be placed on season-ending injured reserve.

    "They call it turf toe -- it's a little bit more than that," Spagnuolo said. "We've got a decision to make there."

    Cornerback Kevin Dockery has a "significant" left-hamstring strain and might not play next week at Oakland, Spagnuolo said. Rookie tight end Michael Hoomanawanui has a high left ankle sprain that could sideline him a while.

    Wide receiver Laurent Robinson was in a walking cast on his right leg after aggravating an ankle injury, although Spagnuolo said the MRI looked "pretty normal." Robinson caught a touchdown pass on the final play of the first half to tie the score, 10-10.

    Running back Steven Jackson underwent an MRI exam on an inflamed right knee, but Spagnuolo believed the veteran would be fine.

    Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
    -09-13-2010, 06:57 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Spagnuolo Puts Blame On Himself
    by r8rh8rmike
    Spagnuolo puts blame on himself

    The score was 14-0, Atlanta, before most spectators had a chance to dig into their popcorn Friday at the Edward Jones Dome. For a Rams franchise intent on showing the fan base that things will be different this season, it was the last thing they wanted to happen.

    On Saturday, after reviewing game tape, coach Steve Spagnuolo blamed himself.

    "Personally, I think it's all on the head coach," Spagnuolo said. "The first quarter, I don't think I had the team ready to play. I'm going to take the onus on that. We need to start the game better, especially against a good football team."

    So what can Spagnuolo do differently to make sure his team gets out of the gate quicker?
    "I don't know," he said. "Just like we evaluate the players, I'm going to evaluate myself all the time. I'll sit back this week, and if I think there's something we can do differently in practice we'll do it.

    "If I think there's something we can say or approach (differently) the day before the game, we'll do that. But right now, if the team's not ready early like that, it's on the head coach. So we'll figure out a way."

    Besides being outscored 14-0, the Rams were outgained 147 yards to 56 by Atlanta in the opening quarter. Spagnuolo said it's impossible to gauge whether or not a team is ready to play based on pregame warm-up or really anything else leading up to the game.

    "I've stopped doing that in football," he said. "Sometimes you walk in there and say, 'This team's not ready to play.' And they go out and beat a team by 30 points. That's hard to assess."

    Granted it came once the starters were done for the night and the reserves had taken over, but Spagnuolo was pleased with the fact that the team chipped away at the early deficit and was in position to tie or win the game in the fourth quarter.


    The Rams' draft class of '09 took its first major injury hit, with Spagnuolo announcing Saturday that wide receiver Brooks Foster will be out six to eight weeks following ankle surgery.

    Foster suffered what originally was termed a sprained ankle in the Aug. 14 preseason opener against the New York Jets. But additional testing revealed additional problems, so Foster underwent surgery on Friday.

    The Rams must decide whether to place Foster on the injured reserve list. The fifth-round pick from North Carolina had some good moments on the practice field during training camp as well as in the scrimmage at Lindenwood University. But he had no catches in the Jets' game, and faced an uphill struggle on making the 53-man roster.


    As expected, Spagnuolo said wide receiver Donnie Avery (foot)...
    -08-23-2009, 03:52 PM
  • ZiaRam
    Time for Someone to Step Up
    by ZiaRam
    by Howard Balzer

    As coach Steve Spagnuolo read the long list of injuries that had hit the Rams in Sunday's season opener, my mind drifted to a game in San Francisco in 2002 when the Rams were spanked by the *****.

    I recalled an impressive list of inactive players for that game, but, of course, wasn't sure of them all. So, I dug out my gamebooks from that season and sure enough, there it was in black and white.

    Six starters were inactive that day, and they were no slouches: Quarterback Kurt Warner, left tackle Orlando Pace, fullback James Hodgins, cornerbacks Aeneas Williams and Dexter McCleon, and linebacker Tommy Polley.

    The result was a 37-13 loss, as the Rams fell to 0-5 on the season. Warner had injured his hand the previous week against Dallas. In that loss to the *****, quarterback Jamie Martin got banged around, clearing the way for Marc Bulger to make the first start of his career the next week against the undefeated Oakland Raiders.

    It turned out to be the beginning of the end of Warner's career in St. Louis, as Bulger helped the Rams upset the Raiders and get the season back on track.

    That will be the charge of Spagnuolo as he might be spending as much time in the trainer's room this week as in meeting rooms and the practice field.

    As disappointing as injuries can be to all of a coach's best-laid plans, the reality is there are no pity parties in the National Football League. As Spagnuolo said Monday when asked how difficult it might be to lose cornerback Ron Bartell for the season, "You lose anybody for the season, anybody on our 53, certainly in the top 22, it's a blow. But I would venture to guess that if we looked around the league there's other teams going through the same thing. Like I told the team in there, just get a fox-hole mentality, get in there, regroup, get the next guy up and come out of the hole fighting. That's what we'll do."
    That's all they can do.

    While admitting the day-after injury report was the worst of any game since he's been with the Rams, Spagnuolo added, "There's a lot there no question. Like I say, that's why we have 53 guys, guys are going to have to step up there and play. I think you heard a couple of guys make the comments earlier that nobody's going to bury their head in the sand. We're not going away. We have 15 games. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We didn't envision starting like that. We certainly didn't envision losing all these guys, but between the coaching staff, personnel staff, the players just find a way to rally and go play."

    There were those that wondered if the lockout might be contributing to injuries. Said Spagnuolo, "That's hard for me. I can't go there on that. I don't know." He then added, "When you really look at it, I thought the coaches, I thought the way we structured the practices, I thought that Reggie (trainer Reggie...
    -09-13-2011, 01:44 PM
  • Rambos
    Spagnuolo Monday Press Conference
    by Rambos
    Spags said the James Hall blocked the FG and coaches form the cards are saying the same thing.... not sure if that makes anyone feel better about the win...
    -11-14-2011, 02:23 PM