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  • T. Jackson might sit because of injury

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    10/15/2004

    Tyoka Jackson was playing for Joe Paterno at Penn State the last time he sat out a game because of an injury. "It was a bad ankle sprain," Jackson recalled. "I got hurt and missed half of that game and then the next one."

    Through 10 full NFL seasons plus five weeks this year - a span of 165 games - Jackson strapped on his helmet every week. "And I'd only missed one practice," he said proudly.

    But unless his slightly torn left hamstring improves dramatically over the weekend, Jackson's streak will come to an end. On Friday, he rated his chances of playing against Tampa Bay on Monday night as "less than 10 percent."

    "This is a bad time for me right now ... the thought of missing a game is killing me," he said. "It's tearing my heart out. Especially against these guys."

    Jackson, a 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive end, spent five seasons - from 1996 through 2000 -with the Buccaneers. He came to St. Louis as a free agent in 2001, and though he's started only three games for the Rams, he's played in all 53 games as part of defensive line coach Bill Kollar's rotation.

    Coach Mike Martz noted that Jackson, 32, has shrugged off various bumps and bruises. "But this thing is pretty hard," Martz said. "When these guys get (problems with) hamstrings, about a week later they feel pretty good, they feel like they can go. You have to make them sit down."

    Jackson was injured in the first quarter Sunday in Seattle, and he placed the blame firmly on himself. "I missed a sack, and that's really where the problem started. If I'd have just sacked the guy, we wouldn't be talking about this right now," he said. "But (Matt) Hasselbeck is a strong quarterback who is evasive, and he stepped up in the pocket just as I was trying to hit him, and it slung me around. I guess it just put too much stress on the hamstring."

    Because he'd never had a hamstring problem, Jackson said he was "leaning" on the team's medical personnel for direction in his recovery. "I'm working with true professionals," he said. "... It's gotten better every single day."

    Thomas, Bulger
    are "probables"

    Linebacker Robert Thomas, who has been nursing a sore ankle for several weeks, was added to the team's injury report Friday. Thomas is listed as probable, and Martz indicated that he'd play Monday.

    Officially, quarterback Marc Bulger still is probable with a bruised right shoulder, but he threw crisply in practice Friday. "He's back to normal," Martz said. "I was very concerned originally. But there's no (bad) effect. He had all the zip that he normally has."

    Bulger was injured when he was hit from behind vs. the Seahawks, but Martz didn't know it until after the team returned to St. Louis. "I had no idea he was hurt until the next day," he said. "They told me Marc's got a bruise, and I said, 'He's got what?' He didn't say anything."

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  • RamWraith
    Jackson Expecting to Play
    by RamWraith
    Thursday, September 29, 2005

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    When Steven Jackson was named the Rams’ starting running back during the offseason, he accepted the job with open arms.

    He knew what he was getting himself into as far as carrying to bulk of the load on the ground, accepting blitz pickup duties and the idea of playing through pain.

    That said, Jackson fully expects to start and play at full speed against the Giants this weekend despite a chest injury that caused him to miss about a quarter and a half against the Titans last week.

    “I am the starting running back and I am going to go out there and be responsible enough to play no matter what the circumstances are,” Jackson said. “I don’t plan on sitting out. We talked about it and everyone is anticipating me to play Sunday.”

    That includes Jackson himself. Jackson was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and didn’t appear that likely to play, but Jackson worked in more during Thursday’s workout.

    Jackson injured the chest on a 6-yard pass from Marc Bulger with three minutes and 50 seconds left in the second quarter. On the play, Jackson was tripped by cornerback Andre Woolfolk before a pair of Titans’ linebackers converged on him. The brunt of the linebackers landing on him combined with the force of simply landing on the ground caused the bruise.

    Jackson remained in the game for a couple of plays before leaving for about a quarter and a half, but he obviously in pain and favored his side for most of the rest of the time he was in there.

    The pain has subsided some in the past couple of days, but Jackson said he still struggled with deep breathing. Jackson is still listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

    “I’m just taking it easy right now,” Jackson said. “Deep breaths are something I have to get acclimated to again because it tends to hurt the area when I take a deep breath. I need to work on my conditioning and getting used to the hard breathing again.”

    It seemed that maybe Jackson was a little too optimistic about playing this week considering his limited participation in practice, but coach Mike Martz said he fully expects Jackson to suit up and participate.

    “I think he is going to play,” Martz said. “It’s a contusion on the chest and those things can be very painful. Obviously he played the second half, so he is going to play. He is going to be hurting during the week. It’s hard for him to move around for awhile. As each week goes by he’ll get better and better, but he’ll be fine.”

    Jackson did return to the game against the Titans and finished the game in obvious pain. He says if he can do that then playing this week should be no problem.

    “Nothing can be like it was Sunday so I think if I can finish the game under that kind of pain I can go out there and play Sunday,”...
    -09-30-2005, 04:14 AM
  • RamWraith
    Jackson, Faulk both are likely to play Sunday
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    12/16/2004


    It appears that the Rams will be at full strength at running back Sunday when they play the Arizona Cardinals at Sun Devil Stadium.

    "Steven (Jackson) is still just a little tentative, but there's no reason why he shouldn't be ready to go," coach Mike Martz said Thursday. "Both he and Marshall (Faulk) will be" on the 45-man active roster for the 3:05 p.m. kickoff.

    Faulk has missed two games with a bruised left knee, and Jackson sat out Sunday at Carolina with the same injury, but to his right knee. Jackson, the team's first-round draft choice this year, had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee after his senior season at Oregon State.

    Faulk and Jackson shared first-team duties at practice Wednesday and Thursday. Arlen Harris, who rushed for 61 yards on 19 carries in the 20-7 loss to the Panthers, was back with the No. 3 unit and likely to return to kickoff-return duties.

    Jackson was injured on his final series Dec. 5 against San Francisco, when he ran for 119 yards on 26 carries. He said watching from the sideline Sunday was difficult.

    "As a competitor, you want to be out there," he said. "And coming off a big game especially, I really felt I could help my team against Carolina. It was pretty tough, especially seeing the offense, the way it was kind of going a little sour."

    Fluid was drained from Jackson's knee twice last week, but he said it felt "pretty good" Thursday in the wake of Wednesday's workout at Rams Park.

    "It didn't swell up this morning, but I have a couple of more practices this week to see how it reacts," Jackson said. "I've got to prepare myself. You can't just go out there cold and expect to play on Sunday. You've got to get back into the flow of things at practice."

    Faulk, who has had recurring knee problems in the past few seasons, had improved so much that he was removed from the team's injury report Thursday. He was listed as probable Wednesday.

    Bulger throws again, still has soreness

    Quarterback Marc Bulger was a little sore after testing his bruised right (throwing) shoulder with some light tossing Wednesday, Martz said. Bulger threw again briefly Thursday during individual drills, while Chris Chandler worked with the first unit.

    "We haven't really pressed it," Martz said. "You don't want to put him backwards. It's a pain issue; it's not the joint structure or anything like that. It's just how sore it is. He's fighting through it."

    Bulger was injured in the first quarter against the *****. Chandler, 39, replaced him, and the Rams rolled up a 16-6 victory. But as the starter Sunday, Chandler threw six interceptions against the Panthers.

    Martz hasn't ruled out Bulger...
    -12-17-2004, 04:25 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams' running back expects to shrug off sprained right knee
    by RamWraith
    .B. FALLSTROM

    Associated Press


    ST. LOUIS - Coming off his first career 100-yard game, Steven Jackson won't let a sprained right knee stop him. Marshall Faulk's understudy expects to shake off the injury and start again Sunday for the St. Louis Rams.

    "It's a little tight, but it should be all right for this weekend," Jackson said Wednesday. "I know me and Marshall, we're working on getting back to playing."

    Jackson spent several hours Monday and Tuesday, off days for the team, at Rams Park taking treatment for the injury that occurred near the end of last week's 16-6 victory over the *****. Jackson brought up the injury himself during a postgame news conference, and coach Mike Martz had appeared frustrated about the rookie's initial attitude.

    "I don't know if he'll be available or not this week," Martz said Monday. "I suppose he would be. Who knows? I think he'll probably be all right. You never know, you just never know."

    On Wednesday, Martz said Jackson might not practice until Friday and that he'd prepare third-stringer Arlen Harris for potential starting duty against the Carolina Panthers (5-7). Faulk is expected to dress again but might need another week to recover from a bruised left knee.

    "Obviously, it's hard to start him if he doesn't practice," Martz said of Jackson "You have to assume you're not going to have him and get Arlen ready, and if you have him, you have him."

    Jackson is getting the message.

    "I know we've got things going in the right direction, and I had a pretty good game on the ground," Jackson said. "We're going to need a physical kind of running this weekend because they're a physical defense."

    The Rams took another just-in-case step on Wednesday, signing kick returner Aveion Cason. Harris has been the Rams' kickoff returner but would relinquish those duties to Cason, in his second stint with the Rams after playing for them briefly in 2001.

    Jackson had 119 yards on 26 carries Sunday, helping the Rams win with ball control after quarterback Marc Bulger sprained his right shoulder on a sack late in the first quarter. The Panthers have been impressed with Jackson's combination of speed and power.

    "He's a big guy with good vision," coach John Fox said. "He's a guy we were very, very high on in the draft, and we think the Rams got a good one."

    Jackson was happy with his first extended action. On the year he has 496 yards rushing on 100 carries, a 5-yard average, with two touchdowns.

    "We did a good job of mixing up the run and the pass," Jackson said. "I believe I did a great job of not only running the ball but doing a good job in pass protection."

    Jackson said he was hurt sometime...
    -12-09-2004, 04:30 AM
  • RamWraith
    Steven Jackson has sore knee, is expected to play
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Tuesday, Dec. 28 2004

    Three weeks ago, running back Steven Jackson was walking on crutches because of
    a swollen ankle the day after the Rams' 16-6 victory over San Francisco.

    As was the case against the *****, Jackson couldn't finish Monday night's game
    with Philadelphia after banging his knee on the artificial turf at the Edward
    Jones Dome. But this time there were no crutches and, apparently, little to no
    swelling in Jackson's knee.

    An MRI exam Tuesday revealed no structural damage, only a soft tissue bruise.

    "He's fine," Martz said. "There's no damage. In fact, there's a significant
    healing from the tear."

    The tear? Apparently Jackson suffered a slightly torn medial collateral
    ligament in his right knee against San Francisco. Such injuries do not require
    surgery and basically heal with time.

    In any event, Martz expects Jackson to play in Sunday's regular-season finale
    against the New York Jets.

    "He probably will," Martz said. "I think it was more just aggravating a sore
    knee."

    Jackson made the last of his 24 carries against Philadelphia with just over 10
    minutes to play. Before calling it a night, Jackson rushed for a career-high
    148 yards and a touchdown in the Rams' 20-7 victory.

    "He was terrific," Martz said. "He looks like a great runner to me. That first
    series in there, we were handing the ball off to him and he was running through
    them, around them, every which way you can. He's a terrific back, and the
    offensive line did a terrific job."

    With Jackson getting six carries and Marshall Faulk four, the Rams ran the ball
    10 consecutive times on their opening drive. When asked if he could recall a
    situation in which he ran the ball that many times in a row, Martz paused and
    replied: "No."

    He came close Dec. 12 against Carolina, calling nine straight running plays -
    all involving Arlen Harris - on a drive that began late in the third quarter.

    Before Monday night was over, the Rams had run the ball 44 times for 209 yards
    against the Eagles - both season highs. So why such a conviction to run the
    ball against Philadelphia?

    "Whenever we've had success against Philadelphia, we've run the ball well,"
    Martz said. "You start getting into a passing game with them, then they sack
    you and create bad plays. Knock your quarterback out. And all that stuff.

    "I didn't think we would do that well (running), obviously. But as long as we
    kept going - it's just like throwing the ball. If you keep completing it, you
    ...
    -12-30-2004, 05:01 AM
  • RamWraith
    Jackson prepares to go full tilt
    by RamWraith
    Post Dispatch

    Running back Steven Jackson remembered how the rib injury happened Saturday in Seattle, but not exactly when.

    "It was just in the middle of the pile, and I caught a helmet to the ribs," Jackson said Tuesday. "It was something that was affecting my breathing a little bit.

    "It was during the first half of the game. I was still going in and out of the game, not wanting to miss a second if I could. It's been a long season for me. But playoff time, you've got to lay it out there on the line."

    At the time of the injury, it was announced that Jackson had bruised ribs. He finished his first NFL playoff game with 10 carries for 36 yards, marking the first time in three games he had fewer carries than teammate Marshall Faulk. Faulk finished with 13 carries for 55 yards, scoring the Rams' second touchdown in the team's 27-20 victory over the Seahawks.

    Back in St. Louis, Jackson underwent further examination on the ribs.

    "I wanted to get them looked at and make sure that they were all right," he said. "The MRI just showed it as a muscle strain. It feels a lot better. It has loosened up. Over these two or three days that we had off, it's feeling a lot better and I'll be ready for Saturday."

    The Rams travel to Atlanta for Saturday's NFC divisional game in the Georgia Dome. Jackson said he doesn't plan to wear a flak jacket to protect the ribs.

    As for his right knee injury, Jackson said, "It's not even an issue right now. I'm still rehabbing it. They're still treating it as an injury. But these last couple weeks, it's feeling great."

    Two sources at Rams Park have told the Post-Dispatch that one of the main reasons Jackson didn't play Dec. 19 in Arizona was concern over Jackson's right knee, which suffered a torn ligament Dec. 5 against San Francisco.

    In the immediate aftermath of that crushing 31-7 loss to the Cardinals, coach Mike Martz gave a couple of bizarre explanations for not playing Jackson. Martz said he wasn't aware that Jackson didn't play. He also said playing time at halfback was up to Faulk and running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery.

    But Jackson shed some light on the subject Tuesday. There was at least some concern at Rams Park that Jackson might subject himself to further injury against the Big Red because he couldn't make sharp cuts on the knee.

    "We had a discussion on it," Jackson said, referring to himself and Montgomery. "It really wasn't a full discussion on if I was going to play or not. But we did have a discussion about concern for the knee, and what would be best for me long-term.

    "I never came out and said anything about it. I just made jokes about it, saying I didn't know I didn't play. Or what game? But I have a great deal of respect for this coaching staff....
    -01-12-2005, 05:01 AM
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