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  • The Body Count

    The body count

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    12/26/2009

    The Rams have been in a canyon-sized rut these last three seasons, with a 6-40 record since the start of 2007. Perhaps it's not surprising then, that the team is in an injury rut as well.

    All teams have injuries, but the Rams continue to have more than most. And try as they might under first-year head coach Steve Spagnuolo, they couldn't bring those numbers down this season. In fact, the basic numbers are strikingly similar in all three seasons, according to a Post-Dispatch analysis:

    — In 2007, the Rams had 12 players on injured reserve, had 27 players miss at least one game, and had players miss 152 games overall due to injury.

    — In 2008, it was 12 players on IR, 27 players out at least one game, and 156 games missed because of injury.

    — This season, it's 12 players on IR, 27 players out at least one game with injury, and 154 games missed with injury. The 2009 numbers will go up from there because the season's not over.

    The '09 Rams very easily could have 14 or 15 players on injured reserve because quarterback Marc Bulger (fractured shine bone) and offensive tackle Jason Smith (concussion) won't play again this season. They already have been ruled out for Sunday's game at Arizona. Cornerback Quincy Butler (ankle) also could be done for the season; he also has been ruled out of the Arizona game.

    "This has been a crazy year once again as far as injuries and infections and the flu bug going around," defensive end Leonard Little said.

    Speaking of which, Little will miss his second consecutive game Sunday because of a knee infection.

    "But as a football player, you can't worry about it," Little said. "You've just got to keep trying to win games."

    Easier said than done for a struggling team. Given their current talent base, it's hard enough for the Rams to win with a full roster. But when the injuries hit, it becomes double jeopardy because the Rams' depth isn't as good as that of more established teams.

    The injuries seem to come in bunches at certain positions. At wide receiver, for example, the Rams have three players on injured reserve: Laurent Robinson, Keenan Burton, and rookie Brooks Foster. On the defensive line, C.J. Ah You, Adam Carriker, and Gary Gibson all are done for the year. Carriker never even made it to the regular season, suffering a season-ending shoulder injury during the preseason.

    So far, only 16 Rams players have made it through every game this season. That total includes:

    — Wide receiver Donnie Avery, who has been in and out of several games with a variety of ailments.

    — Linebacker James Laurinaitis, who needed help from a teammate putting on his suit coat after the Tennessee game because of a shoulder injury.

    — Center Jason Brown, who somehow managed to play against the Houston Texans despite being diagnosed with the H1N1 virus — or swine flu — earlier that week.

    "We train hard; in the offseason we start training in March," Little said. "Some people train before that to prepare for the season. So there's not much you can do to avoid (injuries). It's just something that happens all the time. ... Some people get lucky and don't have any injuries that hinder them. But some people are unlucky and have injuries that really cost them the season."

    A little luck never hurts. It's no secret that the more successful teams in the NFL frequently are the healthiest.

    The Rams' 1999 season Super Bowl championship team had only six players on injured reserve. Only two of those six, quarterback Trent Green and center John Flannery, were scheduled to be starters.

    Two years later the Rams' Super Bowl XXXVI runner-up squad had only five players on IR. The only starter among that group, and a part-time one at that, was rookie defensive tackle Damione Lewis.

    In comparison, nine of the 12 Rams players on injured reserve this season had started at least one game, or in the case of Carriker, were scheduled to be starters.

    Sunday's opponent, playoff-bound Arizona, has a modest five players on IR, only one of whom — left tackle Mike Gandy — is a full-time starter.

    As always, Spagnuolo is focused on this week's game, and this week's game alone. But even he conceded earlier in the week that the Rams will study injuries and how they might be avoided, once the offseason arrives.

    "We'll certainly do that," Spagnuolo said. "A lot of these are more unfortunate ones. When you start talking about fractures and breaks in the game of football, I'm not sure how you avoid that. You don't want them to start playing any slower. You still want 'em to play fast. But we've got to look at all that."

    Rams on IR

    For the third year in a row, the Rams have 12 players on the injured reserve list:

    DE C.J. Ah You* - knee

    FS Oshiomogho Atogwe* - shoulder

    DB Eric Bassey - knee

    OG Jacob Bell* -- hamstring

    WR Keenan Burton* -- knee

    DT Adam Carriker* -- shoulder

    TE Daniel Fells* -- thigh bone

    CB Bradley Fletcher* -- knee

    WR Brooks Foster -- ankle

    DT Gary Gibson* -- ankle

    LS Chris Massey -- knee

    WR Laurent Robinson* -- leg

    * Started at least one game in '09, or projected starter.

  • #2
    Re: The Body Count

    That list is horrid.

    Better luck next year I guess...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Body Count

      Originally posted by Mooselini View Post

      Better luck next year I guess...

      yeh but we been sayin that for 2 years straight now lol :|

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Body Count

        In 99 and 2001, the Rams home field was basically concrete with a thin plastic carpet glued on top of it. Since 2006 (I think) it's been the field turf. I think it might be the turf causing a lot of the problem.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Body Count

          Originally posted by Al_B_Badd View Post
          In 99 and 2001, the Rams home field was basically concrete with a thin plastic carpet glued on top of it. Since 2006 (I think) it's been the field turf. I think it might be the turf causing a lot of the problem.
          Except it seems as if many of our injuries crop up in practice. Perhaps the facilities and the staff need reviewing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Body Count

            It would be interesting to see the stats on all teams the past three years in regards to injuries. Seems like the Rams are right up there with having the most but I cannot verify that. To understand the details might lead to a decrease. Something seems amiss in terms of volume given injuries are a NFL byproduct.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Body Count

              i think a significant amount of those injuries occurred on the road this year. So its not necessarily OUR turf and facilities. just dumb luck.....

              i find it sadly funny how everything happens to the rams it seems. From big plays (i swear every record and career high seems to be achieved against the rams) to insane injuries (jason smith gets sever concussion that puts him out for season right when he was coming along as a lineman.) Is it something in the air?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Body Count

                All one big coincidence...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Body Count

                  it is time to look at least, 3 years in a row major injuries and alot of them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Body Count

                    Originally posted by Al_B_Badd View Post
                    In 99 and 2001, the Rams home field was basically concrete with a thin plastic carpet glued on top of it. Since 2006 (I think) it's been the field turf. I think it might be the turf causing a lot of the problem.
                    good point, when they played on the concrete it seems like they stayed healthier than they do now on the more player friendly turf or so they say.I don't have any numbers to back this up but outside of minor stuff for the most part the GSOT years were healthy ones.

                    Comment

                    Related Topics

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                    • r8rh8rmike
                      Rams Looking Into Injury Bug
                      by r8rh8rmike
                      Rams Looking into Injury Bug
                      Wednesday, January 6, 2010


                      By Nick Wagoner
                      Senior Writer

                      To win in the NFL requires a lot of things working simultaneously in concert toward the achievement of the ultimate goal.

                      Having the right players for the right scheme with the right coaches is a big part of that. But for as much as the big stuff matters, a certain amount of luck is always right at the center of the mix.

                      Luck can be a bounce of the ball in your direction or a timely penalty flag from the officials. But more than anything, luck comes in the form of a blessing from the Football Gods; those unseen spirits that determine which teams get hit by injury and which teams have relative health.

                      Rare is the team in the NFL that has success without having the majority of its key players healthy for the majority of the season.

                      And for the better part of the past three years, the Rams have been ravaged by injuries that have severely lessened the already small margin for error between winning and losing.

                      That’s why, as this offseason takes flight, one of the top priorities for the team will be to research and find out what it is that could be causing the injuries and to see if there are any way to prevent them other than prayer and positive thinking.

                      “We are researching it right now,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “We have to look at them all to see how they happen. Some of them are freak, we all know that. We need to study it. You always need to, but I think each case you have to take on an individual basis because it is a physical game, it is a contact game. I don’t know how you prevent one big guy from falling on another guy’s leg. I don’t know how you prevent that, but we will look at it.”

                      Ideally, the Rams would be able to find a solution for the injury bug that has seemingly made a home in St. Louis since the 2007 season.

                      The last time the Rams were relatively healthy – injuries do happen all over the league – was in 2006.

                      That year, the Rams only sent six players to injured reserve with only three of those players regular starters.

                      It’s no coincidence that the team finished 8-8 that year, the best record the team has posted in the past four years.

                      Since then, luck has seemed to turn against them.
                      In 2007, the team placed 12 players on injured reserve including up to six starters and a total of 27 injured players missed 152 games because of injury.

                      In 2008, another dozen went to injured reserve, four of whom were starters and again 27 players missed time for a total of 156 games missed.

                      This year, the injury count was actually worse than those two apparently cursed seasons.
                      By the end of the season, the Rams had put 13 players on injured reserve including up to nine starters if you include...
                      -01-08-2010, 05:22 PM
                    • codeman123
                      Rams lose DE Ah You for season with knee injury
                      by codeman123
                      Season-ending practice injuries are rare once the regular season starts, but that’s what happened to defensive end C.J. Ah You.
                      Ah You suffered damage to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, according to St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo, and will miss the rest of the season.
                      After missing the Detroit game, Ah You was just getting back to health from a high ankle sprain. He suffered the knee injury in practice Wednesday when the team worked indoors at Rams Park because of rain.
                      Ah You, who was buried on the depth chart at the start of training camp, won a roster spot and was part of the Rams’ four-defensive end pass-rush package. He had 18 tackles, one sack, and two pass breakups this season.
                      Ah You becomes the ninth Rams player to go on the injured reserve list this season. Victor Adeyanju will pick up most of Ah You’s playing time Sunday against Arizona. Spagnuolo indicated the team may wait until next week to fill Ah You’s spot on the active roster.
                      -11-19-2009, 03:48 PM
                    • AvengerRam_old
                      The impact of injuries
                      by AvengerRam_old
                      There is little question that the Rams have been heavily hit by injuries this year.

                      Just off the top of my head:

                      Injured Reserve
                      Brooks Foster
                      Brad Fletcher
                      Laurent Robinson
                      Keenan Burton
                      Adam Carriker
                      O.J. Atogwe
                      Gary Gibson
                      Jacob Bell (probably will be placed)

                      Missed Multiple Games
                      Marc Bulger
                      Richie Incognito
                      Jason Smith
                      James Butler

                      Missed Time/Played Through Injuries
                      Steven Jackson
                      Donnie Avery
                      Jason Brown
                      Mike Karney
                      Leonard Little
                      Ron Bartell
                      Kyle Boller
                      Chris Long

                      I think that, more than anything, these injuries have prevented the Rams from showing real progression. How can the offense succeed when there is a different starting 5 on the O line every week? How can a defense come together as a unit when parts are changed each game?

                      Injuries are an NFL reality, and can't be used as an excuse. However, given that the Rams clearly did not have a weath of talent coming into this year, there really was no chance that this team could survive the number of injures suffered during this season.

                      Let's hope our luck changes next year, and that the depth improves to allow the team to succeed despite normal attrition.
                      -12-15-2009, 09:04 AM
                    • RamWraith
                      Carriker's injury caps season
                      by RamWraith
                      By Jim Thomas
                      ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                      01/02/2008

                      Adam Carriker (center) receives praise from defensive line coach Brian Baker against Arizona on Sunday. Later, Carriker injured his shoulder; he will need surgery.
                      (Chris Lee/P-D)

                      In a cruel way, it was a fitting end to the Rams' 2007 season. En route to a 48-19 loss to Arizona, the Rams suffered yet another serious injury Sunday.

                      Rookie defensive tackle Adam Carriker couldn't finish the game. He suffered a torn labrum muscle in his shoulder and will need surgery.

                      "It's a significant injury; you're looking at sixth months," coach Scott Linehan said.

                      With surgery scheduled for next week, Carriker probably won't be cleared for contact until mid-June, which means he will miss minicamp, organized team activities and at least some of the offseason conditioning program.

                      "He's going to be pushed back into training camp," Linehan said. "He's never really had a major injury, so my guess is he would be back sooner than a lot of guys."

                      Until the injury, Carriker had been a model of durability for the Rams in practices and games. Voted as the team's rookie of the year last week, Carriker suffered the injury late in the first half against the Cardinals. He kept playing for a while but eventually was removed from the game.

                      "It's typical of these injuries," Linehan said. "You stick your arm out and a guy hits it funny."

                      Linehan said the shoulder injury, despite its severity, is not career-threatening.

                      "It's easily corrected, but it just takes so long for the rehab," Linehan said.

                      Carriker isn't the only Rams player headed for surgery. Linehan said linebacker Brandon Chillar will join offensive lineman Todd Steussie in requiring surgery to remove bone spurs in his ankle.

                      If there's a silver lining to Carriker's injury, at least it won't cause him to miss any games. That wasn't the case for many of his teammates this season.

                      By season's end, the Rams had 12 players on the injured reserve list. Together, 27 players missed at least one full game because of injuries. Those 27 Rams missed a total of 152 games.

                      No matter what you say about the performance of the Rams' coaching staff or their players, if you lose that many players — and that many games to injury — you're not going to have a winning season.

                      "You can win more games than three," Linehan conceded. "But you're going to have a hell of a time getting to where you want to be. We're not the first team that's gone through a lot of injuries. But I'll tell you, I've personally never seen anything like it."

                      The injuries hit the offensive line particularly hard. Four offensive linemen, including three starters, ended up on the season-ending...
                      -01-02-2008, 07:47 AM
                    • eldfan
                      Rams Team Report
                      by eldfan
                      USA Today
                      Posted 12h 35m ago E-mail | Save | Print |


                      Aside from trying to win games, coach Steve Spagnuolo had one thing he stressed from the first day he was hired last January: Concentrate on "team first" and building an atmosphere that had that as the main goal.
                      The Rams won only one game during the season, but Spagnuolo insists the team goal was met. Now he knows what has to be done to create wins for an organization that has won just six games in three seasons.

                      Rookie middle linebacker James Laurinaitis likes what was accomplished and says the young talent will only get better.

                      "I think we have a lot of talent on this team," Laurinaitis said. "If you look at a lot of the games this year, they could've gone other ways. I think we have great coaches. Another year together, it's going to be something good. There's definitely a lot of competitiveness in this group."

                      It was also a unique year for Laurinaitis, who didn't lose many games during his entire college career at Ohio State, much less 15 in one season.

                      "It's very easy to play 100 percent when you're winning and things are rolling and the crowd's into it, and stuff like that," he said. "But when you're down and things get out of control, that's when it's very easy to pack it in. I think I learned a lot about myself this year. I've never been put in that (losing) situation except for a few times in college. You can tell who really cares by who really keeps trying in those moments."

                      Cornerback Ron Bartell was an unrestricted free agent last March and was being wooed by the Saints. After meeting Spagnuolo, Bartell elected to re-sign with the Rams. Does he regret it, considering New Orleans was 13-3 this past season and earned the top seed in the NFC playoffs?

                      He said, "When I re-signed, I knew it wasn't going to be an overnight thing. I got into it for the long haul. So I knew it was going to take time. We still have the right people in place. I totally, firmly believe that. I think I made the best decision for me. I still think we can get this thing turned around."

                      Of course, he acknowledged how tough the season was.

                      "It was extremely difficult," Bartell said. "With all the changes we made, you definitely didn't see that coming. But it is what it is. We put ourselves in this position. The only thing we can do now is move forward."

                      Bartell also likes the talent on the roster.

                      "We have a good mix of young guys that are willing to learn, and veterans that are willing to lead," he said. "Not a lot of egos. Everybody's playing for the same goal. We didn't accomplish that, of course, but I think in the end we all just stuck together."

                      Said veteran James Hall, who has played 10 seasons in the NFL...
                      -01-14-2010, 02:33 PM
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