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Rams Team Report

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  • Rams Team Report

    Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo didn't realize the half of it when he reported Monday that quarterback Marc Bulger was "pretty banged up."
    Spagnuolo went on to describe how Bulger had had an MRI in the morning for a hamstring/groin problem, would have baseline testing Tuesday for a potential concussion and would be having another MRI in late afternoon because of some swelling in his knee.

    That left leg MRI revealed that Bulger had a tibial plateau fracture, and he will miss anywhere from three to six weeks. The previous week, it was reported that Bulger had banged his knees, and since no one is able to pinpoint when the fracture occurred, it's possible it might have happened Nov. 15 against the Saints.

    A tibial plateau fracture occurs on the top surface of the tibia or shin bone where it meets the knee. The injury can be more serious if there is displacement or if it affects the middle of the knee or on the inside because of the weight-bearing nature of the bone. The size of the fracture is also important.

    Spagnuolo described the injury as "a hairline fracture" and said it is likely that the injury is to the lateral or outside part of the knee. It isn't out of the question that Bulger could be OK to play in three weeks.

    It appears the Rams' plan is not to place Bulger on injured reserve, even though the team is currently 1-9. Kyle Boller will start Sunday against Seattle, with rookie sixth-round pick Keith Null the backup.

    For this week, the apparent plan is to go with two quarterbacks. If another quarterback is added after this week, it likely would be Brock Berlin, who was with the team in training camp.

    There are also questions about whether Null will be provided an opportunity to play at some point. Bulger's salary is scheduled to be $8.5 million in 2010, and he would count $10.5 million if there is a salary cap next year.


    —In his third game for the Rams, wide receiver Brandon Gibson was targeted on 17 Marc Bulger passes, catching five for 61 yards. Afterward, the focus was more on the missed connections than the receptions.

    Asked about miscommunication on a couple of plays, Bulger said, "Yeah, there was more than a couple. I think that's going to happen with a young receiver. I'm not going to put it on him. It's just a matter of us working together. The more time we spend together, the more on the same page we will be."

    Gibson agreed, saying, "My biggest thing is not leaving plays on the field, and that's what I did today. I'm frustrated at myself because I know I can play at a high level. I think we've just got to get on the same page, me and Marc.

    "There were just some things that I did, and we just weren't on the same page there on the goal line. That's two plays that stick out in my head, and I've got to do my best to come down with those balls."

    —Running back Steven Jackson became the first running back in Rams history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in five consecutive seasons. With 116 yards Sunday, Jackson has 1,031 yards this year.

    Asked about the accomplishment, Jackson said, "Well, it feels good. It would feel a lot better if we got it with a win. Although statistically it only says 'Steven Jackson' next to that, I share this with my whole offensive line and my fullback (Mike Karney). I'm really proud of the work we've done so far. Hopefully, we can turn the success into wins as a team."

    Said coach Steve Spagnuolo, "I went in there and I grabbed him and told him I was really proud of him. That's something special. Everybody ought to recognize that, he ought to think about that tonight because it's special. Not a lot of guys are able to do that. I know that down deep that's not the most important thing to him because I know the kind of guy he is, but I think we ought to tip our hat to him and credit the offensive line as well."

    —The offensive line had to shuffle on several occasions during the game, with Adam Goldberg ending up at three positions.

    Goldberg began the game at right guard with Richie Incognito sidelined for the third game because of a foot injury. Goldberg played a series at left tackle at the start of the second half when Alex Barron was late coming out of the locker room while he was getting his ankle re-taped, and Goldberg finished the game at right tackle after rookie Jason Smith was hit in the head late in the third quarter.

    When Goldberg was at tackle, Mark Setterstrom played right guard.

    —A personal foul on Goldberg hurt the Rams when they were trailing 21-13 late in the fourth quarter but had a first down at the Arizona 13-yard line. A first-down pass was incomplete, but Goldberg was flagged for unnecessary roughness. After the penalty was announced, Goldberg was incredulous.

    "I was extremely surprised," Goldberg said. "Anybody that knows me knows I'm not a cheap player. I think that's my first-ever personal foul in my seven-year career. But he made the call and I have to live with it. That's the world I live in.

    "I apologize to my guys for putting us behind the 8-ball down-and-distance wise, and I think they all understand. They know me. They know I wouldn't do anything that stupid. They understand I couldn't see the ball gone."

    In a pool report, referee Bill Leavy explained, "(He) knocked the defender down well after the pass was released, and in my judgment, unnecessarily hit the player after the ball had been gone."



    —QB Marc Bulger is expected to miss three-to-six weeks after an MRI revealed he suffered a tibial plateau fracture in his left knee Sunday. Bulger had already had an MRI for a hamstring/groin injury and was scheduled for a baseline concussion test after experiencing a blow to the head against Arizona.

    —RB Steven Jackson will be treated this week for some lower back soreness he experienced coming out of Sunday's game against Arizona.

    —OT Alex Barron suffered a mild sprain of his ankle Sunday against Arizona, and he wasn't able to run Monday in conditioning work.

    —OT Jason Smith, who missed most the fourth quarter Sunday after suffering a blow to the head, will have a concussion baseline test Tuesday. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Monday that Smith "seemed to be OK today."

    —RG Richie Incognito, who has missed three games because of a foot injury, might return this week. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Incognito was able to run without irritation Monday.

    —LB Chris Chamberlain, the team's leading tackler on special teams, suffered a mild ankle injury Sunday and also had a blow to the head. He will be given a concussion baseline test Tuesday.

    —FB Mike Karney was undergoing an MRI Monday for a possible neck injury.

    —DE Chris Long, who played with a bruised knee Sunday, came through the game OK, although he was dealing with soreness Monday.

  • #2
    Re: Rams Team Report

    First let me say while I am not a fan of Bulger I have to give him his due props for playing while banged up.
    Now I have to question his return in 3 weeks. I feel very doubtful this will happen or even should happen. I feel Bulger runs a great risk of further injury of his leg if a return is to soon & with the fact that we are 1-9 at this point why risk it. If we keep him next year I would prefer that the leg is 100% without further damage.


    Related Topics


    • r8rh8rmike
      Injuries Add Up For Rams
      by r8rh8rmike
      Injuries add up for Rams


      Coach Steve Spagnuolo entered the week hoping for a little luck on the injury front.

      "We do have to get healthy," he said Monday. "We've got some guys that are banged up. We need to get some guys back."

      Instead, things went the other way Wednesday at Rams Park. Both starting wide receivers, Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton, couldn't finish practice because of what Spagnuolo termed sore hamstrings. Backup safety Anthony Smith, who spent most of the San Francisco game with the starting defense following Craig Dahl's concussion, couldn't finish practice because of an Achilles tendon problem.

      All told, the Rams' official injury report had seven players listed as limited participation. Six are potential starters Sunday when the unbeaten Minnesota Vikings visit the Edward Jones Dome.

      "We got a little more dinged today," Spagnuolo said following Wednesday's practice. "It's that time of the year in the NFL. Guys are going to be sore. They've just got to fight through 'em, and our guys are doing that."

      To cut down on wear and tear, the Rams weren't in full pads Wednesday, usually the one day of the week where most teams work in full gear during the regular season.

      Among the walking wounded, cornerback Ron Bartell (thigh) and Dahl appear the most ready to play Sunday ... just in time for Brett Favre.

      "It feels 10 times better — the week off really helped," said Bartell, who missed his first game since high school Sunday against San Francisco because of his thigh injury. "I feel like with the next four or five days, I'll make enough progress to play. I have every intention of playing and starting Sunday, and helping us win. So barring no setbacks, I'll be playing."

      Dahl, the starter at strong safety until James Butler (knee) returns in a week or so, suffered his concussion in the first quarter against the *****. "On a tackle I had made, I got hit in the side of the head by the running back," Dahl said. "I came up fine, but just a little disoriented. Could tell things weren't right. I stayed in the rest of the series and then came out."

      But Dahl passed the "baseline" memory and cognitive skills test Tuesday, a necessary first step for players returning from concussions. If he gets through the practice week without any post-concussion symptoms, he will be back in the lineup against Minnesota.

      Things aren't as clear cut at quarterback, where Marc Bulger is trying to work his way back to game readiness after suffering a bruised rotator cuff Sept. 27 against Green Bay.

      Last week, Bulger had test results sent to noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews for a second opinion on his injured right shoulder....
      -10-08-2009, 09:05 AM
    • r8rh8rmike
      St. Louis Rams Offense Back Together
      by r8rh8rmike
      St. Louis Rams offense back together

      BY JIM THOMAS [email protected]


      Quarterback Marc Bulger took snaps under center for the first time in 3½ weeks. Rookie Jason Smith has been officially named the starting right tackle.

      So for the first time since the start of training camp, the entire Rams offense — starters and key contributors — was in place and on the field Wednesday.

      "We had a comment in the huddle today," tight end Randy McMichael said after practice. "It was like, 'Wow, we're all together again, finally, after a long layoff.' "

      Just in time for opening day in Seattle.

      "It was almost like: We're back," wide receiver Derek Stanley said. "It feels good. I think we've got big things coming up this year. Everybody's working hard, paying attention to the little things. Everybody's got that desire to win."

      Smith's "promotion" was no great surprise. It had become increasingly obvious over the past week or so that the No. 2 overall draft pick from Baylor would open the regular season in the lineup.

      "Obviously, it's a privilege to be able to say I'm going to (start) for the St. Louis Rams," Smith said. "The main thing is just proving myself and just being part of a great offensive line."

      There was more uncertainty about Bulger and the broken little finger on his throwing hand. Bulger has thrown the ball well lately, but the final test was taking snaps under center. By all accounts, he passed that test Wednesday in practice.

      "It went well, and I think we're where we want to be," Bulger said.

      Although listed as limited participation on the team's official injury report, Bulger said he took part in every drill in practice. However, he didn't take 100 percent of the snaps in every drill.

      "But it wasn't because of discomfort," Bulger said. "It was to keep Kyle (Boller) going. I was happy with the amount of reps I took."

      So no discomfort?

      "I wouldn't say no discomfort," Bulger said. "But it was bearable, and it's not going to affect whether I can get the ball (from center), which is a good thing."

      Bulger confessed to some anxiety about taking his first snaps since the one from center Jason Brown on Aug. 17 resulted in the broken finger.

      "Sure. I definitely lost some sleep over it," Bulger said. "You kind of worry that that first snap isn't going to go how you want it. You don't want to let your teammates down."

      But 20 minutes into taking snaps during practice, Bulger said he felt confident again. "It was good to be back out practicing," he said.

      From his, uh, end of things, Brown said everything went well...
      -09-10-2009, 03:11 PM
    • Rampingitup
      Team all beat to ....
      by Rampingitup
      ST. LOUIS (AP)—St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger(notes) underwent an MRI exam on his groin and hamstring Monday and was due for a second MRI on a swollen knee in addition to testing for concussion-related symptoms after a physically demanding loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

      Coach Steve Spagnuolo said the first MRI revealed a strain. The second MRI was set for late Monday and Bulger will be tested for a possible concussion Tuesday after taking a blow to the head in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 21-13 loss.
      Spagnuolo wasn’t certain of Bulger’s status for next week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. He said the injuries apparently occurred at various points in the game, and said Bulger woke up with the swollen knee.
      “Marc Bulger’s pretty banged up,” the coach said. “Marc’s got a few things going on.”
      Linebacker Chris Chamberlain(notes) and offensive tackle Jason Smith(notes) also will be tested for possible concussions on Tuesday.
      Fullback Mike Karney(notes) was to undergo an MRI on his neck. Offensive tackle Alex Barron(notes) (mild ankle sprain) and running back Steven Jackson (lower back strain) had more minor injuries.
      Spagnuolo was hopeful guard Richie Incognito(notes) can return after missing three games plus the bye week with a foot injury.

      Looks like all the Bulger bashers will get their chance to see another QB get beat up, or blown out, next week.

      I was actually very disappointed in the game this Sunday. I thought we got out coached, and out maneuvered at a lot of instances. The Cards did an excellent job of scouting us, and it seemed like for most of the game the Cards had a copy of our playbook and a mike on our play callers. The last 3 plays trying to get into the end zone in the next to last drive was insane. 3 straight passing plays, 2 of which were the same play to the same side against the best corner the Cards have. No attempt to run at all or play action to SJ.

      The O-line really underperformed after having shown so much improvement through the season. The Cards were getting pressure on us with only 3 and 4 man rushes.

      The receivers were constantly running the wrong routes, or giving up on their routes too early. Nearly half of Bulger's incomplete passes seemed to be from receivers not being where they were supposed to be.

      The D-line was getting no consistent pressure on Warner, or Lienart. Yes we knocked Warner out of the game, but that seemed more like a fluke. Not the hit, the injury. But we were not getting to either QB enough. And our run defense packed up and left the building, if it actually ever arrived with the team.

      A team loss no matter what anyone says, and who they like to point...
      -11-23-2009, 02:57 PM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Rams Facing Big Shortage
      by r8rh8rmike
      Rams facing big shortage

      Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo cringed when considering the possibility that five of his 11 starters on offense could be watching from the sideline Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.

      "Well, when you list it like that ... " Spagnuolo said before reverting quickly to the company line.

      "In this league, you've got to step in there and play," he said. "All teams have injuries. We just line up and play the game."

      Still, the Rams' odds of knocking off Seattle certainly would be enhanced if quarterback Marc Bulger (leg), guard Richie Incognito (foot), running back Steven Jackson (back spasms), fullback Mike Karney (neck) and tackle Jason Smith (concussion) were on the field for the noon kickoff.
      Bulger and Smith definitely won't suit up. Kyle Boller takes over for Bulger with the first team. Adam Goldberg slides from right guard into Smith's spot at right tackle, with Mark Setterstrom expected to move in at right guard.

      Setterstrom, who hasn't started a game since the third week of the 2007 season, had "a solid week" of practice with the first team, Spagnuolo reported.

      Incognito, Jackson and Karney were listed as questionable on Friday's injury report. In NFL parlance, that means they have a 50-50 chance of playing.

      Jackson, the NFL's second-leading rusher, missed a third consecutive day of practice, although he did some individual work with the trainers on the sideline. Spagnuolo said he hoped to reach a decision on Jackson's availability today but conceded he might wait until Sunday morning.

      "I trust Steven and what he can tell me. I think he'll be truthful," Spagnuolo said. "The competitive juices come out. But I think he's been in the league long enough that he knows he doesn't want to hurt the team, yet he wants to be out there to help the team."

      Spagnuolo indicated that despite missing the entire week of practice, Jackson could step in on game day without a glitch. Jackson, who said earlier in the week that he expected to play Sunday, was unavailable to reporters Friday.

      If Jackson were unable to play, Kenneth Darby and Samkon Gado would be the primary ball-carriers. Rookie Chris Ogbonnaya, a seventh-round draftee who has spent the season on the practice squad, could be promoted to the 45-man game-day roster.

      "They just told me to prepare, be ready just in case they need me," said Ogbonnaya, who took some reps with the first unit this week. "Whatever happens, happens. I'll just stay patient, stay positive."


      For just the seventh time since the Rams moved here in 1995, a home game will be blacked out locally. Several thousand tickets remained unsold for Sunday's contest as...
      -11-28-2009, 12:46 PM
    • eldfan
      St. Louis Rams Team Report
      by eldfan
      St. Louis Rams Team Report

      On a team where there was monumental turnover from last season, coach Steve Spagnuolo often talked in the offseason about the process of building a roster.
      Still, despite the numerous changes and jettisoning of veterans, there was some optimism that the team could improve from the 2-14 season in 2008. However, everyone knew, even if they wouldn't admit it, that the margin of error was slim, depth could be a factor and everything had to go just right, meaning the avoidance of injuries.

      Unfortunately that didn't happen. One week into training camp, wide receiver Donnie Avery and defensive tackle Adam Carriker were injured in a scrimmage. Avery got off to a slow start and Carriker was lost for the season.

      Quarterback Marc Bulger missed several weeks of training camp with a finger injury, and has missed games with a bruised rotator cuff and is currently out because of tibial plateau fracture in his leg.

      Wide receiver Laurent Robinson was establishing himself as a go-to receiver when he suffered a broken fibula in the third game of the season.

      After Sunday's loss to Seattle, Spagnuolo was asked if the team just isn't talented enough. Said Spagnuolo, "I would never say that because I believe in the guys we have there and we'll keep fighting. In this league, anybody can beat anybody on any given Sunday. Are we banged up? Yeah, but that's no excuse for losing and I don't think our guys would use that as an excuse."

      No, players and coaches normally don't use that excuse, but this is a team more than just "banged up."

      In addition to Carriker and Robinson, starters cornerback Bradley Fletcher, defensive tackle Gary Gibson and wide receiver Keenan Burton are on injured reserve. Burton became the starter after Robinson was injured, while Gibson took Carriker's starting spot.

      Through 11 games, 10 starters had missed a total of 48 games. At least 25 games will be added to that from the five starters on injured reserve.

      In preparations for last week's game against Seattle, five offensive players that opened the season as starters weren't practicing: Bulger, running back Steven Jackson, right tackle Jason Smith, right guard Richie Incognito and Robinson. Fullback Mike Karney was also out.

      The Rams played the Seahawks without a true fullback, and during the game, center Jason Brown suffered a knee injury, leading to an offense that stalled in the first four possessions of the second half.

      Just when some continuity was developing in the line, the departure of Brown resulted in Mark Setterstrom sliding from right guard to center and John Greco entering the game at right guard.

      The Seahawks took advantage, and while the offense came to a grinding halt, Seattle built its halftime lead from 14-10 to 27-10.

      Concluded Setterstrom,...
      -12-03-2009, 12:30 PM