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Shoulder injury puts Tercero out for season

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  • Shoulder injury puts Tercero out for season

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Rams offensive lineman Scott Tercero proved in 2004 that he could play in the NFL. Unfortunately, he's done playing for the season because of a shoulder injury that will require surgery.

    Tercero was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, ending a season in which he rocketed up the depth chart with a surprisingly strong showing in the preseason and started four regular-season games at left guard.

    "I would've loved to have finished the season," Tercero said. "But to get to play in the first half of the season was great. I got some experience under my belt, and I'm going to try to take it from here and put that into next season."

    With Chris Dishman expected to miss this week's game in Buffalo because of a knee injury, it looks like Tom Nutten will start for the Rams at left guard, the position he manned from 1999 through 2002 in St. Louis, including two Super Bowl starts.

    Tercero, a sixth-round pick by the Rams in 2003 from California, spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad. But with the encouragement of Rams coaches, who told him he had the potential to play in the NFL, Tercero worked on getting bigger and stronger in the offseason.

    "I think that was probably one of the biggest knocks against me, that I was undersized," said Tercero, who's listed at 6-4, 303 pounds.

    The work apparently paid off. With Orlando Pace missing all of the preseason in a contract impasse, Tercero started all four exhibition games at offensive tackle, displaying quick feet and good agility.

    "That first preseason game, I was really nervous because I had a lot to prove - not only to the management and the (coaching) staff, but to myself that I could play at this level," Tercero said. "You really don't know that, until you put your hand in the dirt and you actually do play."

    Once the regular season began, he took over for the injured Dishman at left guard with starts against San Francisco (Oct. 3), Seattle (Oct. 10), Tampa Bay (Oct. 18) and Miami (Oct. 24).

    But almost as soon as he began playing, the injuries started mounting. Tercero suffered a broken bone in his left hand against the ***** but kept playing even though he had to wear a cast and at times appeared to be blocking almost one-handed.

    Then came a nagging right shoulder injury that couldn't be overcome. Tercero missed some time against New England and was on the pregame inactive list Sunday against Seattle because of the shoulder problem. But he can't recall exactly when or how he initially suffered the injury.

    "It's something that's been bothering me for the last few weeks," Tercero said. "It was starting to get progressively worse, to the point where I made a decision that I wouldn't be able to play effectively."

    An MRI showed that Tercero had a torn labrum in the shoulder. He spent part of his day Tuesday trying to set up surgery later this week.

    "It's going to be tough to be on sidelines and watch," Tercero said. "I'm going to build from this year and try to do better next year, and hopefully play a lot more, if not start."

    The Rams filled Tercero's spot on the roster Tuesday by promoting linebacker Drew Wahlroos from the practice squad. Walhroos, 6-3, 235 pounds, played his college ball at Colorado and could be used to help out on special teams. The Rams almost promoted him to the active roster two weeks ago. But because of a sprained ankle by tight end Cameron Cleeland, Mike Brake got the promotion instead to provide insurance at the position.

    Brake spent a week on the active roster leading up to the New England game before being released. He has been re-signed to the practice squad. But the Rams still have a vacancy to fill on the practice squad because defensive lineman D.J. Renteria has been released from the squad. Practice squad members practice with the team but cannot play in games.

  • #2
    Re: Shoulder injury puts Tercero out for season

    Anybody else feel really comfortable with Nutten in there? He looked great in the brief time we saw him last week.


    • #3
      Re: Shoulder injury puts Tercero out for season

      Nutten did look pretty good. I was hoping we'd get to see if the Tercero-at-right-tackle experiment would pay off for us, but I guess we'll have to wait a bit on that one, if ever.


      • #4
        Re: Shoulder injury puts Tercero out for season

        I feel fine with nutten in at the guard spot. The question now is, who is the backup guard. I guess Sapamamilaumula is the first backup choice at both tackle and guard, unless someone wanted to advocate larry turner.

        ramming speed to all

        general counsel


        • #5
          Re: Shoulder injury puts Tercero out for season

          Darnell Alford anybody? Pretty soon we'll have to pull somebody else out of retirement.


          Related Topics


          • RamWraith
            Nutten is ready for his encore
            by RamWraith
            By Jim Thomas
            Of the Post-Dispatch

            There was a time late in Sunday's game against Seattle when Mike Martz looked out at the Rams' offensive huddle from the sideline and saw the numbers 76, 61, 67, 62. . . .

            "It just brought back old memories," Martz said.

            Suddenly it was 2001 all over again.

            For much of the Greatest Show on Turf period - those three seasons of 500-plus points from 1999 through 2001 - offensive linemen Orlando Pace, Tom Nutten, Andy McCollum and Adam Timmerman did much of the heavy lifting for the Rams' high-wire act.

            Now, a succession of injuries at left guard has brought Nutten all the way back - from retirement to the Rams' starting lineup.

            "It's like old times," said McCollum, the Rams' center. "He's back. I don't know if you watched him much at the (Seattle) game, but he looked really good. Like his old self."

            With Scott Tercero a pregame scratch because of a shoulder injury, Nutten was the Rams' next option when Chris Dishman went down early in the third quarter with a knee injury. Dishman tried to return later in the quarter, but after a couple of plays gave way for good to Nutten.

            For Nutten, 33, it was his first extended playing time in two years.

            "It felt strange, but it felt good at the same time," he said. "It felt natural. There were a lot of emotions that I went through."

            Tercero was put on the injured reserve list Tuesday, ending his season, and he will need surgery on the shoulder. Dishman suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee, an injury that won't require surgery but will sideline him for four to six weeks.

            So as the Rams continue their drive for the playoffs, they are counting on Nutten to fill the void at left guard, perhaps for the rest of the regular season.

            "I'm pretty excited," he said Wednesday. "I think somebody said 'anxious' is a good word. We're just starting our work week, so I've got to settle myself down a little bit and make sure I don't peak too early."

            When Nutten takes the field Sunday against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y., it will be almost two years to the day since his last NFL start. On Nov. 24, 2002, Nutten suffered a season-ending broken leg against Washington. The last glimpse of Nutten as a Ram that day was doing an interview for a German television crew in the visitors' locker room at FedEx Field. Nutten, who spent much of his youth in Germany, speaks fluent German.

            Unable to offer Nutten much more than a minimum contract in free agency, the Rams could do little but sit and watch him sign with the New York Jets the following offseason.

            "I hated losing him," Martz said. "I really like him. He got out there and got a little disillusioned....
            -11-18-2004, 07:06 AM
          • RamWraith
            Ankle injury sidelines Rams newcomer
            by RamWraith
            Read the bold GC :-) Just a matter of time *LOL*

            By Bill Coats
            Of the Post-Dispatch
            Wednesday, Sep. 08 2004

            Just minutes into his second practice with the Rams, safety Zack Bronson
            tumbled to the turf at Rams Park. And stayed there.

            Bronson, who played the last seven seasons with San Francisco, was signed
            Sunday as a free agent. He practiced Monday, and coach Mike Martz indicated
            that Bronson could see significant action in Sunday's season opener against

            Those plans blew up when Bronson's left ankle rolled over Wednesday. The extent
            of the damage was undetermined, but Martz said it appeared to be "a pretty
            significant" injury. Bronson definitely won't be available Sunday, a Rams
            official said.

            With Bronson and Travis Fisher (broken arm) out, and Jason Sehorn having failed
            a physical exam Wednesday, the Rams are left with only seven defensive backs.
            Cornerback Dwight Anderson, who worked with the second-team defense Wednesday,
            could be brought up from the practice squad.

            The Rams' league-mandated injury report, issued Wednesday afternoon, also
            included wide receiver Torry Holt.

            Holt, who led the NFL in catches and receiving yards last year, was a late
            scratch for the final exhibition game last Thursday in Oakland because of back
            spasms. He's practiced this week but is listed as "questionable," which under
            league guidelines means there's only a 50-50 chance he'll play Sunday.

            Cornerback DeJuan Groce (knee) also is questionable. Fisher and guard Tom
            Nutten (toe) are out, and linebacker Trev Faulk (hamstring) and fullback Joey
            Goodspeed (hamstring) are probable. Receiver Kevin Curtis, bothered for a
            couple of weeks by shin splints, returned to practice Wednesday.

            Changing places

            The locker room at Rams Park has had the look of a busy airport terminal this
            week, people bustling in and out at a hectic pace. Four new players showed up
            Wednesday: Guards Darnell Alford and Blaine Saipaia, defensive end D.J.
            Renteria, and linebacker Dedrick Roper.

            Removed from the roster since Sunday, after final cut-downs, were guard/tackle
            Andy King (released), running back Lamar Gordon (traded) and linebacker Tony
            Newson (moved to the practice squad).

            Martz said he'd never seen so much late movement.

            "But there are significant reasons," he said. "Both of these offensive linemen
            are young players that have the potential to have a future here. And we needed
            somebody that ... can play linebacker, but should be one of your top two or
            three special-teams players. And that's what we expect out of" Roper....
            -09-09-2004, 05:22 AM
          • RamWraith
            Rams make changes on depth chart--Polley demoted
            by RamWraith
            By Jim Thomas
            Of the Post-Dispatch

            Rams linebacker Tommy Polley was happy last May at minicamp, but he was demoted to second string Sunday.
            (Chris Lee/P-D)

            MACOMB, Ill. - Who said exhibition games are meaningless?

            That wasn't the case Sunday for Tony Newson and Scott Tercero, and conversely, Tommy Polley and Andy King.

            In the Rams' first practice since Thursday's exhibition opener, against Chicago, Newson found himself with the starting unit at outside linebacker in the base defense. Polley was working with the second string.

            On the offensive line, Tercero worked with the first unit at left guard, with King moving from starting left guard to second-team right tackle.

            Newson said he was pulled aside by linebackers coach Joe Vitt about 20 minutes before Sunday's practice and told: "We're going to make a little change today."

            "That was a wrench thrown at the last minute," Newson said. "So it was quite a surprise."

            Newson played weakside linebacker for the rest of the Bears game after Pisa Tinoisamoa suffered a sprained ankle in the first quarter.

            "It gave me a chance to kind of earn a little bit of the coach's trust," Newson said. "So I thought I did pretty good."

            Apparently, so did Vitt, because on Sunday Newson was ahead of Polley at the strongside spot.

            Tercero was told of his switch by offensive line coach John Matsko in meetings before practice.

            "I was surprised at first, but I have more experience at guard," Tercero said. "So I feel a little bit more comfortable there."

            He started at right tackle against the Bears and played very well, but guard is his natural position from his college days at the University of California.

            With nearly a month remaining before the season opener, it may be premature to read too much into Sunday's depth-chart shuffling. Nonetheless, coaches don't make such changes on a whim. Even for one practice.

            So are these new job assignments permanent?

            "I have no idea. I really don't," Tercero said. "And I try not to read into that. Wherever they put me, I'll play as well as I can, and then we'll go from there."

            Newson said, "I'm not even going to speak on that right now. We'll see what happens tomorrow. Right now the wind is twirling."

            The biggest surprise would be if Newson held off Polley for the starting job.

            Polley, 26, has been a starting outside linebacker for the Rams since early in his rookie season of 2001. He was second on the team in tackles in '01 (with 119), and last season (with 115). Last season, Polley shared the team interception lead (four) with three other players.

            -08-16-2004, 06:16 AM
          • RamWraith
            Nutten is doubtful, but may play
            by RamWraith
            By Jim Thomas
            Of the Post-Dispatch
            Wednesday, Jan. 05 2005

            Will there be a changing of the (left) guard Saturday in Seattle?

            During his regular Wednesday press conference at Rams Park, coach Mike Martz
            all but declared rookie Larry Turner the starter against Seattle. When the
            official injury report came out in the afternoon, Tom Nutten was listed as
            doubtful with a left knee injury.

            But while Turner took the reps with the starters at left guard in practice,
            Nutten was running on the side. And running surprisingly well, which caused
            Martz to change his tune after practice.

            "Tommy may play this week," Martz said. "He's going to practice (Thursday), so
            we'll see. There's a real chance we'll have him up. I was very, very

            According to Martz, Nutten has a torn medial collateral ligament in the knee.
            He played with the injury for a few weeks but, after aggravating it in
            mid-December, did not play against Arizona.

            Nutten was back in the lineup against Philadelphia on Dec. 27 and played well.
            But he suffered another setback late in the third quarter against the New York
            Jets on Sunday and didn't return.

            "I think half the pile came down on the outside of my knee," Nutten said. "I
            felt something in there and right away knew that was it for the day."

            He was still walking with a limp Monday but said the knee felt a lot better. By
            Wednesday, it felt well enough to test the knee with some running.

            Normally, if a Rams player doesn't practice during the week, he doesn't play on
            the weekend. But with the playoffs at hand, Martz sounds willing to take things
            down to the wire if necessary with Nutten.

            "If he goes out in pregame and practices well, he'll play," Martz said. "He's
            just got too much experience and is too good a player."

            Despite having rust to knock off after being out of football last season,
            Nutten, 33, remains a savvy pass blocker and an effective run blocker. He has
            started seven playoff games as a Ram, including two Super Bowls, and that kind
            of experience is invaluable this time of year.

            Nutten was talked out of retirement by the Rams in late August and had to get
            his weight back up to the 300-pound level. Then he battled a turf toe problem
            after just a week with the club. Just when it seemed he was over the nagging
            turf toe injury, along came the knee problem.

            But there aren't many players on the squad who don't have some kind of ailment
            this far into the season.

            "It seems like the season is gruelingly long," Nutten said. "And I was
            -01-06-2005, 06:27 AM
          • RamWraith
            Dishman gets a double dose of knee trouble
            by RamWraith
            By Bill Coats
            Of the Post-Dispatch

            In nearly two decades of football, dating to his pre-high school days in Cozad, Neb., Chris Dishman never had suffered a significant knee injury. Now, it's two in two months.

            Dishman, an eight-year NFL veteran who signed with the Rams as a free agent Aug. 5, will be sidelined four to six weeks with a complete tear of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Dishman, who had started five games at left guard, was injured in the third quarter Sunday in the Rams' 23-12 victory over Seattle at the Edward Jones Dome.

            "I was locked up with a guy that I was going against, and he came into the side of my leg," Dishman explained. A series later, he re-entered the game.

            "I braced it up, and I thought I could do it," he said. "I went out and tried to make an adjustment on a linebacker, and at that point I knew something was wrong in there, because my knee kind of flopped out the side."

            An MRI exam Monday revealed the damage. No surgery is planned.

            Veteran Tom Nutten played left guard the rest of the game and is expected to start Sunday, when the Rams (5-4) square off with the Buffalo Bills (3-6) at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Rams' last regular-season game is Jan. 2, so Dishman could return this season.

            "If we're fortunate enough to be in postseason play, he should be back by then," coach Mike Martz said. "That's still a ways down the road, but ... he'd play right now if we asked him to."

            Dishman, 30, missed two games after hyperextending his right knee Sept. 26 against New Orleans. "It still isn't 100 percent," he said. "And then I go out there and do this. So I've kind of been a gimp."

            The offensive line was thinned further when it was determined that guard/tackle Scott Tercero would have shoulder surgery this week and miss the remainder of the season. Tercero, who also had been playing with a broken left hand, started four games at left guard.

            "Scotty Tercero was playing so good, I can't stress that enough," Martz said. "He's an exceptional offensive lineman. That's a big-time hit on our part. I can't be more pleased with him."

            Illness hits Faulk

            When running back Marshall Faulk showed up Wednesday at Rams Park, Martz threw him out.

            "He's got that flu bug. He was going to come and practice, and (I told him), 'Go home, go to bed,'" Martz said. "He's been down for a couple of days. He came in and got some medicine, got the game plan and went back home."

            Martz reported that Faulk was improving. "He feels a lot better. He was really bad" Tuesday. As much as anything, Martz wanted to keep Faulk away from his teammates.

            "We've got a...
            -11-18-2004, 07:06 AM