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Dishman gets a double dose of knee trouble

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  • Dishman gets a double dose of knee trouble

    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 couple of guys sniffling and wheezing and sneezing," Martz said. "Once it gets going on a team, it just hits everybody. And I'm the one that probably started it. I've had it for three weeks; I'm just getting over it now."

    Colorado connection

    When linebacker Drew Wahlroos learned Wednesday that he'd been promoted to the active roster from the practice squad, the first call he made was to Bills defensive tackle Justin Bannan.

    "He was my roommate in college for four years, so that's pretty cool," said Wahlroos, an All-Big 12 Conference player at Colorado. "I told him I'd be out there. He was excited."

    Wahlroos, who signed with the Rams on Sept. 15, played for the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe after spending the 2003 preseason on the Philadelphia Eagles roster as an undrafted rookie free agent. He has yet to appear in an NFL game and won't know until Sunday whether he's part of the 45-man game-day roster.

    "But either way, whatever I've got to do to help us get this win in Buffalo, I'm ready," Wahlroos said. "Since I've been here on the practice squad, I thought it'd be best to prepare like I was going to play, even when I knew I wasn't . . . so when I do get a chance to get out there, that week of preparation isn't a big change from what I've been doing."

    Injury report

    The newest Ram, center-guard Terry Wagner, didn't make it through his first practice at Rams Park. Wagner was taken off the field on a cart after suffering what appeared to be a serious leg injury. . . . Wide receiver Torry Holt, who suffered a concussion in the first quarter vs. the Seahawks and missed the rest of the game, was listed as questionable on Wednesday's injury report. But Martz said Holt had passed a neurological exam and is expected to play in Buffalo. . . . Safety Antuan Edwards, signed last week after his release by Miami, probably will miss another week with a groin injury. "We're going to be very patient with him," Martz said. "I think he's a terrific player."

    Wide receiver Dane Looker, who has sat out two games with a sprained ankle, practiced Wednesday and was listed as questionable. Tight end Cam Cleeland (knee), Faulk (flu), linebacker Tommy Polley (hamstring) and tackle Grant Williams (shoulder) are probable.

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  • 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, 04:22 AM
  • RamWraith
    Offensive line is in rough shape
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    The problems on the Rams offensive line aren't going to go away in a day or two. Coach Mike Martz conceded as much Tuesday, sifting through the ashes of the previous night's 24-7 meltdown in Kansas City.

    The real question is: Can they be sorted out in 18 days, when the Rams open the regular season against Arizona?

    "Provided that we can keep what we have healthy, with the addition of Orlando (Pace), absolutely," Martz said. "And even if Orlando's not here, we'll put out a first unit that will compete and play well."

    But at the moment:

    Left tackle Grant Williams has a sprained ankle that Martz said probably needs about a week to properly heal, although Williams may keep playing through it.

    "We're so thin at this point," Martz said. "I told him, do what you can do. If he can't (play), this is his decision and I respect him. ... There's great character in that man. He wanted to be there (against Kansas City), and I appreciate that. I'm very grateful for that."

    Williams had been wearing a protective boot around the ankle in practice but scrapped the boot in favor of extra tape against Kansas City. "The boot was causing numbness," Williams said. "The ankle wore down as the night went on. Certain movements, it didn't affect me. But whenever I had to push on it, there wasn't a lot there."

    Chris Dishman is rounding into shape at left guard but still has a way to go.

    "I think Big Dish is going to be fine," Martz said. "He's obviously a few weeks away from being ready physically. He's really out of shape, but he's light years ahead of where he was when he came in. ... He played much better (against Kansas City) than I thought he would at this point."

    The recently unretired Tom Nutten still needs a couple of weeks before he's ready to play.

    Right guard Adam Timmerman is bothered by a nagging shoulder problem, and may not practice or play Friday against Washington.

    Right tackle Scott Tercero is a preseason bright spot, even though the blitz-heavy Chiefs threw a lot at him Monday. "He probably played the best of all the offensive linemen (Monday) night," Martz said.

    The situation would improve dramatically once left tackle Pace, embroiled in a contract dispute, shows up. But when does that take place?

    "When he gets here, he gets here," Martz said. "I don't have any idea how much work he needs because I don't know what kind of shape he's in. I don't know what he's been doing. I don't know anything about him.

    "I have not talked to Orlando since the end of the season. He's not returned any calls to any of the coaches, any of the players, or anything else."
    -08-25-2004, 05:44 AM
  • RamWraith
    Jackson, Faulk both are likely to play Sunday
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    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
    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, 05:27 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams Continue Roster Movement
    by RamWraith
    Wednesday, September 8, 2004

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    An offseason that has seen plenty of activity seemed ready to settle in with the final cuts made on Sunday. That isn’t so for the Rams, though. St. Louis saw a flurry of activity Wednesday, including a failed free-agent signing, a trade and three new additions to the active roster.

    With questions in the defensive backfield, St. Louis attempted to bring back Jason Sehorn, who appeared to retire after last season. All Sehorn had to do was pass a physical. Sehorn flunked the test and will not be signed to the one-year deal he was offered.

    Sehorn took the exam Wednesday morning, but was unable to show enough improvement in his health to pass. He suffered from a broken foot in 2003 that plagued him through most of the year. Sehorn had surgery in February, but it wasn’t enough to fix what ailed him.

    Rams’ coach Mike Martz said the team wanted to see if Sehorn was even healthy enough to make a comeback.

    “We brought Jason in to see where he was with his foot,” Martz said. “After the second surgery, he just hadn’t healed as well as we had hoped. It just wasn’t a situation where he felt comfortable.”

    The cornerback/safety played in 10 games, starting two last season. He finished with 26 tackles and had no interceptions.

    The locker room at Rams Park saw plenty of new faces Wednesday as well. Linebacker Dedrick Roper and offensive linemen Darnell Alford and Blaine Saipaia joined the team Wednesday morning.

    Martz said it is somewhat strange to be making so many changes this close to the beginning of the regular season and it can take away from gameplanning efforts.

    “It can be a distraction,” Martz said. “It’s good to have so much of these things finally completed. Some of these guys, of course, we would have liked to had a few weeks ago, but thank goodness their ours now.”

    Roper comes to the Rams from Pittsburgh, where he was an undrafted free agent. Roper said he was on his way to the field as a member of the practice squad when he got word the Rams claimed him. Roper played two years at Michigan State before transferring to Northwood (Mich.) College. He made a name for himself in the Whataburger Cactus Bow, a Division II all-star game with seven tackles.

    Roper said he was thrilled when he realized he was going from a spot on the practice squad to an active roster.

    “I couldn’t keep the smile off my face,” Roper said. “I liked it there in Pittsburgh, but I really wanted to play this year. Now, I have the opportunity.”

    Alford came to the Rams from Kansas City after it put him on waivers Sunday. Saipaia spent his preseason with Oakland. Both players played against the Rams in preseason games, presumably making enough of an impression to get the call from St. Louis.

    -09-09-2004, 04:20 AM