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  • Rams Are Cautious With Jason Smith

    St. Louis Rams are cautious with Jason Smith

    BY BILL COATS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    12/01/2009

    Rookie tackle Jason Smith's unexpected trip Sunday from the Edward Jones Dome to Barnes-Jewish Hospital was a stark illustration of the NFL's growing concern over head injuries.

    Smith suffered a concussion Nov. 22 against Arizona. Twice last week he failed a follow-up neurological exam and was kept out of uniform vs. Seattle.

    The No. 2 overall pick in the draft, Smith was watching from the sideline when he became dizzy and started vomiting late in the third quarter. "The doctors wanted to get some precautionary tests done to make sure there was nothing new going on with his concussion recovery," Jim Anderson, the Rams' head trainer, explained Monday. "All his tests were normal, and he was released afterward."

    Several players around the league were grounded Sunday while recovering from concussions. That group included quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger of Pittsburgh and Kurt Warner of Arizona, and running backs Brian Westbrook of Philadelphia and Clinton Portis of Washington.

    "With the environment we're in, I think it's a serious thing," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "I think we ought to be careful with it."

    Smith didn't argue that point Monday, although he did maintain that offensive linemen "get concussions all the time. You clear up and keep playing. I probably had one or two of them in camp while I was here. We hit helmet to helmet all the time, and you get a little woozy."

    Smith, who said he'd never missed a game because of a concussion, experienced a variety of symptoms last week. "I felt a lot of different ways," he said. "But yesterday I was feeling real bad."

    Although Smith said Monday that he feels "great — 310 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal," he still must pass the five-tiered neuro exam before he'll be permitted to suit up again.

    "I feel the organization is doing a great job of making sure that I don't have anything that's lingering, to where I can play a hundred percent," he said. "Who knows? Tomorrow, I might be Superman again; right now, I'm just Batman — can't fly."

    INJURY UPDATES

    The knee injury that sent center Jason Brown to the sideline late in the first half was diagnosed as a moderate sprain. "We'll see if we can't get him to Wednesday's practice, but we'll tread lightly on that one," Spagnuolo said.

    Linebacker James Laurinaitis is nursing a mild shoulder sprain, and running back Steven Jackson, who played despite experiencing back spasms all last week, "obviously came out sore ... nothing more serious than that," Spagnuolo reported.

    The rest of the Rams' injuries were mostly bumps and bruises.

    MARTIN'S DAY

    For the first time all season, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur deployed four-wideout sets. That meant that Ruvell Martin, the No. 4 wide receiver, got onto the field. And he produced.

    Martin, 6 feet 4 and 220 pounds, had two catches in the first half, one for 33 yards and another for 27. But that was the extent of his work in the 27-17 defeat.

    "I don't know that I have a good answer for that," Spagnuolo conceded before explaining that once the coaches determine the three wide receivers who will get the bulk of the play, they don't waver.

    "During the week, we get certain packages, and (decide on) the three wide receivers ... and that's set in stone," he said. "(If) somebody gets hurt or we think somebody's not doing their job, you make a replacement. But I don't think that was the case."

    Danny Amendola, Donnie Avery and Brandon Gibson combined for 14 catches and 121 yards, with Avery scoring on a 1-yard pass from quarterback Kyle Boller.

    RAM-BLINGS

    Kickoff for the Rams' home game vs. the Titans on Dec. 13 has been moved to 3:05 p.m. as part of the NFL's flex-scheduling option. ... With 1,120 yards, Jackson remains the No. 2 rusher in the league, behind Tennessee's Chris Johnson (1,396). ... Laurinaitis had 10 tackles Sunday, including his first pro sack, according to the coaches' film review. He's amassed a team-high 106 tackles for the season.

  • #2
    Re: Rams Are Cautious With Jason Smith

    Definitely have to err on the side of caution with Jason Smith- no matter how long it takes. Obviously his physical well being is of the greatest importance, but he is also too valuable a player for the Rams down the road to jeopardize him further. This whole concussion thing is getting way out of hand in the NFL.

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    • r8rh8rmike
      Jason Smith Has Up, Down NFL Debut
      by r8rh8rmike
      Jason Smith has up, down NFL debut
      BY JIM THOMAS
      ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
      01/02/2010

      Jason Smith got a little bit of everything as an NFL rookie. But too much of injuries.

      Smith returned to practice this week but won't play in Sunday's season finale against San Francisco. After missing five games because of a concussion, a week's worth of practice simply isn't enough to get game ready.

      So when all is said and done, the rookie offensive tackle from Baylor will have played in only eight games this season, with five starts.

      At age 23, he already has learned a valuable lesson about his profession. Namely ...

      "Don't take the season, and playing football, for granted," Smith said. "Obviously, there's a lot of people that wish they were able to wake up every morning, let alone be able to play football. At the end of the day, I'm just happy I was able to wake up and be a part of this team."

      That is Smith's rather unorthodox way of saying he's just happy to be alive.

      Although Smith was the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, nothing was handed to him by coach Steve Spagnuolo. Smith didn't move into the starting lineup until just before the regular-season opener.

      Certainly nothing was handed to him once the games started. In the season opener, against the Seahawks, Seattle rookie linebacker Aaron Curry came at Smith's knees low and late downfield after a run by Steven Jackson early in the first quarter. Those are the kinds of plays that can lead to blown-out knees. But Smith was OK, and Curry was fined by the NFL.

      Smith also gave up a sack to Lawrence Jackson in that game, and another — to Dwight Freeney — six weeks later against Indianapolis.

      But there were plenty of high spots. In Game 2, against Washington, a block by Smith sealed the edge on a 58-yard run by Jackson — his longest gain of the year. The play set up the Rams' first touchdown of the season and gave them their first lead of the season.

      In the first Arizona game, on Nov. 22, blocks by Smith and tight end Randy McMichael helped spring Jackson on a 48-yard run that set up a Rams field goal.

      The gain put Jackson over 1,000 yards for a franchise-record fifth consecutive season.

      But for every step forward this season, Smith seemed to take one back.

      Less than 1½ games into his NFL career, Smith suffered a knee injury before halftime of the Washington game.

      He missed the next two games entirely because of the injury then rotated in for three contests before regaining his starting job in Game 8, against Detroit. He flashed his aggressive run-blocking skills against the Lions and was solid in pass protection as well in a 17-10 Rams victory.

      Following the bye, he also started and played well in the next two games.
      ...
      -01-02-2010, 12:16 AM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Smith OK After Hospital Visit
      by r8rh8rmike
      Smith OK After Hospital Visit
      Monday, November 30, 2009


      By Nick Wagoner
      Senior Writer

      Of all the injuries and ailments plaguing the Rams on Sunday against Seattle, it was one case of nausea on the sideline that perhaps caused the most concern.

      Rams tackle Jason Smith, inactive for the contest against the Seahawks because of lingering effects from a concussion suffered a week earlier against Arizona, was on the sideline watching the Rams and Seahawks on Sunday afternoon when he suddenly began to feel ill.

      Smith complained of a nauseous feeling that led to vomiting and light headedness. He was promptly whisked away to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis for tests and observation just before the start of the fourth quarter.

      “I was experiencing some things that weren’t real normal,” Smith said Monday afternoon. “I asked the doctors what’s going on with me. He said to take the proper precautions to what you feel and get you out of here to get you checked out. That’s what we did. I was sick and vomiting and wasn’t feeling good.”

      Because Smith is still recovering from the concussion he suffered last week, the doctors wanted to take a closer look and run a battery of tests that would determine if or how the nausea related to his concussion symptoms.

      The good news, revealed by coach Steve Spagnuolo and athletic trainer Jim Anderson on Monday afternoon, is that Smith passed all of those tests with nothing out of the ordinary showing up on them.

      Smith said Monday there was no hard evidence from his CAT scan that the symptoms he suffered from on Sunday were a direct result of his concussion. In fact, Smith says he was never told that the two were related though that remained a possibility.

      “They tested me on a couple of different things,” Smith said. “They never said it was because of the concussion. It was like something was wrong with your stomach or whatever.”

      At the conclusion of those tests, Smith was released from the hospital and allowed to return home Sunday evening.

      “It sounds like he’s OK which is a good thing,” Spagnuolo said.

      Before Sunday, Smith said he had awoken feeling different every day but had not yet felt illness like he did on Sunday.
      As with most concussions, there are variety of symptoms that go along with the injury. In some cases, those symptoms can be triggered by various factors.

      For instance, basketball star Blake Griffin suffered a concussion while playing for Oklahoma last year and complained that it was made worse by attending a home game he wasn’t playing in by the myriad lights and loud noises in the arena that night.

      “There are all kinds of symptoms that happen with a concussion,” Smith said. “They say noise and they say lights but obviously you having one, you feel all those things. It...
      -12-02-2009, 12:52 AM
    • MauiRam
      Smith is striving to be a starter ..
      by MauiRam
      By Bill Coats
      ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
      08/29/2009

      Training camp is winding down, the regular-season opener is barely two weeks off, and the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft still hasn’t earned a promotion to the first team. If that’s bothering Rams tackle Jason Smith, he isn’t letting on.

      “Coach told me when I first got here that there are a lot of steps you have to do to be a part of this team, and then there are a lot of steps you have to do to get on the field,” Smith said Friday. “I just want to take the proper steps.”

      Smith saw extended action Thursday night in the Rams’ 24-21 preseason victory at Cincinnati at both right and left tackle — but mostly with the second team.

      “I thought he played more aggressive than he did last week. I was pleased to see that,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. But he hedged when asked when Smith might be ready to ascend the depth chart.

      “I don’t know that yet,” Spagnuolo said. “It depends on everybody around him, who’s playing where and how the rest of the guys are doing. We’ll just keep him on course.”

      Alex Barron is the starting left tackle, and that isn’t likely to change. Veteran Adam Goldberg has been manning the right side most of the time, with Smith contributing here and there.

      A left tackle in Baylor’s spread formation, Smith is adjusting to a different side and a different scheme as well as the leap to the NFL.

      “It’s a new deal: a new position, new playbook, new everything,” he said. “But the more reps you get at something, the more comfortable you get, the better you get at it.”

      Like Spagnuolo, Smith is willing to be patient.

      “I never look at my draft status or what (outside) people think,” he said. “I feel that I’m progressing at a steady pace.”

      INJURY UPDATE

      Guard Jacob Bell (concussion) and defensive tackle Adam Carriker (ankle) are expected to practice this week and could play Thursday night when Kansas City visits the Edward Jones Dome. Carriker has missed all three preseason contests; Bell was injured on the first series of the opener at the Meadowlands.

      Quarterback Marc Bulger, recovering from a broken pinky on his right (passing) hand, is scheduled to throw this week, although he might not take snaps.

      A status update wasn’t available on the ankle injury wide receiver Keenan Burton suffered vs. the Bengals or safety Craig Dahl’s sore hamstring. Also, Spagnuolo reported that cornerback Justin King “has got something with his thumb that we’re going to have X-rayed.”


      FLAJOLE MOVES UP

      After being on the sideline for the first two contests, defensive coordinator Ken Flajole watched from the press box at Paul Brown Stadium. Linebackers coach
      Paul Ferraro replaced Flajole on the field.

      “Part of the whole preseason, not...
      -08-29-2009, 02:34 AM
    • Nick
      Jason Smith still feeling effects of concussion
      by Nick
      Jason Smith still feeling effects of concussion
      Steve Korte
      12/7/2009
      Belleville News-Democrat

      Rookie right tackle Jason Smith still hasn’t recovered from the concussion that he sustained on Nov. 22.

      Smith failed to pass his baseline test again on Monday. He’ll see independent consultant, which now mandated by the NFL under the league’s concussion policy, on Tuesday.

      “A lot of concern,’’ Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said of Smith’s concussion. “Anybody we have in the program here who had a concussion is always a concern. A hard one to figure out. I do know all of the sudden they can be OK.’’

      Other injury news from Spagnuolo's press briefing on Monday:

      -- QB Marc Bulger will have an MRI on Friday to see how much the fracture in his shinbone has healed. Spagnuolo said Bulger still is on crutches.

      -- WR Donnie Avery had an MRI on Monday after having a subluxation of his shoulder. The results weren’t known.

      Avery was able to return to action against the Bears.

      “He did go back in with a brace and kind of gutted it out,’’ Spagnuolo said. “Hopefully, that’s a sign that he’ll be able to bounce back this week.’’

      -- Quarterback Kyle Boller is bothered by a thigh injury.

      -- FB Mike Karney will have another X-ray on his neck. Spagnuolo said he was hoping that Karney, who has missed two games, would be able to return to action this week.

      -- Rookie DT Dorell Scott had an MRI on his neck.

      -- LB David Vobora might get an X-ray on his hand.
      -12-07-2009, 06:39 PM
    • shroomysoup
      Will Jason Smith be okay?
      by shroomysoup
      I heard on the radio awhile ago that Jason Smith suffered a SERIOUS concussion injury and that it may affect his ability to play football for the rest of his career. Does anyone have any updates on him? How is he doing?
      -12-14-2009, 12:50 PM
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