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Tag:Steven Jackson
Posted on: January 21, 2012 12:56 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2012 1:37 pm
 

Report: Schottenheimer hired as Rams OC

Schottenheimer

By Josh Katzowitz

As we wrote a few days ago, the Rams had made an offer to Brian Schottenheimer to be their offensive coordinator under new coach Jeff Fisher, and today, Schottenheimer reportedly accepted the job, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Latest coaching news, rumors
It’s a fresh start for Schottenheimer, who parted ways with the Jets following an acrimonious season in charge of New York’s offense, and he gets to work with Fisher, who is building quite an assistant staff along with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

Schottenheimer had interviewed for the University of Alabama offensive coordinator gig but didn’t get it. He also had been connected as a candidate for the Falcons coordinator position, but that job went to Dirk Koetter.

As Will Brinson wrote earlier this week, “But it's unlikely that Rams fans will be too thrilled: the Jets never finished better than 17th in passing offense and only once finished in the top 10 in total offense for a season under Schottenheimer.”

Of course, Schottenheimer had to try to tutor Mark Sanchez in New York, and questions are still out on whether Sanchez can be a legitimate starting quarterback in this league. Rams quarterback Sam Bradford will be a big-step up in talent for Schottenheimer. Plus, he’s got Steven Jackson as running back, and if St. Louis can find some receivers, the Rams offense could be a talented one.

Much of it, though, will depend on what Schottenheimer can accomplish now that he has the job.

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Draft needs

A. Luck should be a No. 1 selection in next year's draft. Who will select him, though (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

As we enter the final weekend of the season, a number of squads are just playing out the string, hoping to put a solid performance on film, ready to clean out their lockers and look ahead to next year. While only four games on this week’s schedule mean absolutely nothing in terms of the postseason, quite a few of those teams are just looking to play spoiler.

And looking to the 2012 draft, where they can begin to rebuild their team or shore up that one position that could put them over the hump for next season. That’s why we’re taking the 10-worst teams in the league this year and finding one major flaw that needs to be fixed from April 26-28 in New York City’s Radio Music Hall.

For these teams -- and their fans -- the time has come to salivate at the prospects of landing the exact right guy that could change their fortunes for years to come.

10. Bills: Defensive line -- I didn’t like the Ryan Fitzpatrick $59 million extension earlier this year, and I hate it now. But I think Buffalo has other concerns for the moment, and they come on defense. For one, Buffalo has a tough time stopping the run. First-round pick Marcell Dareus has been a bit inconsistent at the nose tackle, but he also has the ability to play like a monster. The 3-4  ends, though, need to be better. Injured tackle Kyle Williams obviously will help when he returns next season, but the ability to rush the passer once in a while also would help (Buffalo’s 25 sacks ranks 30th in the league).

9. Dolphins: Quarterback -- Look, the Dolphins have some talent. They proved that when Tony Sparano’s job was on the line, and they started winning games. They proved it by nearly beating Tom Brady, and they proved it by nearly beating Tim Tebow (that last point was a joke). While Matt Moore has been much better than expected after taking over for Chad Henne, he’s a Band-Aid. I think most of us would agree that Henne isn’t the answer as the starter, and perhaps, he and Moore could have a battle to see who could back-up a legit starting quarterback. Reggie Bush established himself as a 1,000-yard rusher, and with a talented quarterback like Robert Griffin III (if he lasts that long in the draft), the Dolphins could begin pushing for AFC East crowns.

8. Browns: Pass rushers -- Cleveland got two defensive linemen early last year (tackle Phil Taylor in the first round and end Jabaal Sheard in the second), and they’ve done a nice job on the left side of the defensive line. But the defense ranks 25th in the league in sacks, and defensive end Jayme Mitchell hasn’t had a great season. Marcus Benard, coming off a solid rookie season last year, is on IR, and if the Browns could get one more high-end rusher in the draft, they’d have talent and depth.

7. Redskins: Quarterback -- It’s probably time for Mike Shanahan to come to the realization that his quarterback picks the past two years have been disastrous (Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck). He said the other day that the rebuild of this franchise has taken more time than he thought, but a standout quarterback obviously would help that process along. Shanahan also said that there was no question in his mind that he’d be back next season, but unless he finds a way to invigorate his offense, that might be a different story this time next year.

6. Chiefs: Right tackle -- Looking across Kansas City’s depth chart, there’s not one position group that so obviously needs to be overhauled. The Chiefs have talent, even if some of those positions don’t have much depth. But right tackle Barry Richardson has badly struggled this season. According Pro Football Focus, Richardson is the worst-rated offensive tackle in the league (the decision to cut Jared Gaither near the end of the season was a bad one). Left tackle Branden Albert is solid, but the right side of the line needs to be reworked.

Minnesota's secondary has been a big concern this year (US Presswire).5. Buccaneers: Run defenders -- The Buccaneers tried to shore up their defensive end spots last draft, taking Adrian Clayborn in the first round and Da’Quan Bowers in the second round. Considering Tampa Bay ranks dead last in sacks, the experiment hasn’t paid off immediate dividends. But the Buccaneers are also terrible against the run, and even though tackle Albert Haynesworth has played better than most of us had a right to expect, there are still huge holes to fill in the lineup.

4. Vikings: Secondary -- The Vikings rank as the 31st-worst defense in the NFL, but in reality, their front seven has talent (for instance, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Chad Greenway). Minnesota lost Antoine Winfield (its best corner) early in the year, Chris Cook has legal troubles, safety Jamarca  Sanford has struggled badly and the rest of the safeties have been ravaged by injuries. It’s no  wonder opposing quarterbacks dominate the Vikings defensive backs. On the season, Minnesota has recorded seven interceptions, worst in the NFL. The Vikings need to find somebody who can force turnovers in order to improve this unit.

3. Jaguars: Receivers – Oh, how they need receivers. Yes, Blaine Gabbert has been, by far, the worst rookie quarterback to play this year, but Jacksonville, even with new ownership and a new coach, probably needs to give him more than a season to see if he’s a quarterback of the future. He also needs somebody who can catch his passes. Here are Jacksonville’s top-three receivers: Mike Thomas, Jarret Dillard, and yeah, nobody else. In fact, there’s a good chance running back Maurice Jones-Drew will end up as the team’s leading pass-catcher this season. Hard to blame Gabbert completely when his receiving corps is so bad.

2. Colts: Running backs -- Assuming Peyton Manning returns healthy next season -- admittedly, a huge assumption -- his receivers should continue to be fine (this, of course, depends on what happens with free agents Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon). But we’ve seen this year that without a running game, a Manning-less Colts squad has very little chance of doing anything (mostly because Manning makes up for SO many team deficiencies). Joseph Addai, who’s averaging 3.8 yards per carry and probably won’t get to 500 rushing yards on the season for the second year in a row, might be released into free agency, and Donald Brown, while improved, isn’t a legit No. 1 running back. The Colts obviously have a big decision to make regarding Manning and Andrew Luck, but taking a running back probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

1.Rams: Offensive linemen -- There’s been talk that maybe the Rams should grab Luck if they end up with the No. 1 pick. Which, with Sam Bradford on the team, would be ludicrous. Instead, St. Louis should be focused on how to put together an offensive line that doesn’t lead the league in sacks allowed. The biggest problem, not including injuries to Jason Smith and Jacob Bell that have hurt the unit, has been the line’s interior. Linemen aren’t the sexiest position, but damn, St. Louis needs to find some that can stay healthy and keep Bradford and Steven Jackson out of danger.

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Posted on: November 1, 2011 3:49 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 3:51 pm
 

Eye on Football NFL Awards: Week 8



Posted by Will Brinson



Every week, our NFL experts will hand out the Eye on Football hardware to the best of the best from the NFL week that was.

Week 8 NFL Awards
Expert Offense Defense STeams Coach
Freeman  McCoy Houston Peterson  Reid
Judge Jackson  Dareus Peterson Tomlin
Prisco  McCoy  Long Peterson Spags
Brinson  McCoy  Long Peterson Spags
Katzowitz Jackson Taylor Peterson Frazier
Wilson  McCoy Woodley Peterson Spags
Week 8's in the books and we're (almost/kind of) halfway home in the 2011 NFL season. Let's get to the hardware.

LeSean McCoy might have stayed in the game too long -- he was carrying the rock with the Eagles up a lot of points -- but it worked out for him here, as he nudged out the Rams Steven Jackson for our Eye on Offense Award, thanks to 185 rushing yards.

Chris Long clotheslined his way to the Eye on Defense Award, thanks to a trifecta of sacks against Saints quarterback Drew Brees in a stunning upset.

Long's coach Steve Spagnuolo was rewarded as well, as his gameplan against New Orleans, despite being horribly overmatched, resulted in the least predictable win of the NFL season thus far.

And rookie Patrick Peterson, though his team lost, picked up the Eye on Special Teams Award for his beasty 82-yard touchdown return.

Leave your votes in the comments below or scream angrily at us on Twitter @EyeOnNFL.

Eye on Offense Award
Mike Freeman Clark Judge
LeSean McCoy LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
The Cowboys allegedly had the top-ranked rushing defense. Then McCoy got a hold of it on Sunday night and by the time he was done with it left totally humiliated. McCoy had 30 carries for 185 yards and two scores. It was stunning to watch. The offensive line play, the play calling, the cutback running. The Cowboys are still licking their wounds.
Steven JacksonSteven Jackson, RB, Rams
First, he tells teammates what it will take to beat New Orleans. Then he demonstrates it, running for 159 yards and scoring twice in a stunning upset. Jackson is a terrific player on a not-so-terrific team, and it's games like this where we're reminded just how good the guy can be.
Pete Prisco Will Brinson
LeSean McCoy LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
He rushed for 185 yards on 30 carries and scored two touchdown in the Eagles' rout of the Cowboys. His 6.2 per-rush average is what really impresses me. McCoy is having an Offensive Player of the Year type of season.
LeSean McCoyLeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
McCoy took advantage of a brilliant gameplan by Andy Reid (let Dallas' rushers get upfield and then cut Shady loose) for a career day, and he's now the only player in the NFL to score a TD in every game, after rolling for 185 yards and two touchdowns.
Josh Katzowitz Ryan Wilson
Steven JacksonSteven Jackson, RB, Rams
He was such a big part of getting the Rams off the schneid, I’d be foolish not to recognize him. From recovering teammates’ fumbles to rushing for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, Jackson did it all. He caught passes, he gained yards, he yelled at teammates. And most impressively, he helped lead St. Louis to a huge win against the Saints without the contributions of Sam Bradford
LeSean McCoy LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
The combination of the Eagles bye week, a renewed focus on the running game and Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan flapping his gums created a perfect storm that took the shape of Shady McCoy. Eight weeks into the season and the Eagles finally look like … the Dream Team. Maybe Andy Reid should serious consideration to, you know, committing to the running game.
Eye on Defense Award
Freeman Judge
Chris HoustonChris Houston, CB, Lions
Did his part to end the phony quarterback candicacy of Tim Tebow with a 100-yard interception return for a score. Houston did not "Tebow" which was good. No need to rub it in.
Marcel Dareus Marcel Dareus, DT, Bills
Now you know why the Bills took this guy with the third pick. It was a no-brainer. They wanted someone to plug the middle of the league's worst run defense, and Dareus is that someone. He had two-and-a-half sacks and three quarterbacks hits in Buffalo's rout of Washington, the first time Mike Shanahan has been shut out in the NFL.
Prisco Brinson
Chris LongChris Long, DE, Rams
He had three sacks against the Saints and spent the day in the backfield. Long is a relentless player who plays hard all the time, and that showed up against the Saints. He's getting better every year.
Chris LongChris Long, DE, Rams
Howie's kid was the cog in a Rams defense that quite unexpectedly shocked the world in their beatdown of the Saints, piling up three sacks on Drew Brees, including a third clothesline-like blow that's as brutal a sack as I've seen in a while.
Katzowitz Wilson
Ike Taylor Ike Taylor, CB, Steelers
There were others around the league with more impressive games. Guys who had big sack totals, those who mocked  the opposing quarterback. But Taylor was such a huge key in shutting down New England’s Wes Welker in the Steelers win. Welker was limited to six catches for 39 yards, his lowest output since Week 16 of last year, and Taylor was to blame.
LaMarr Woodley LaMarr Woodley, LB, Steelers
He only played two and a half quarters, but in that time he managed to harass Tom Brady into plenty of hurried throws, many of which were off target, and not more than 10 yards downfield. Woodley also had two sacks, giving him nine for the year, a total made even more impressive given that he had just 1.5 sacks through the first month of the season.
Eye on Special Teams Award
Freeman Judge
Patrick PetersonPatrick Peterson, WR/KR, Cardinals
An 82-yard punt return was one of several keys that sparked the biggest comeback in Baltimore Ravens history. If it wasn't for Peterson, Joe Flacco might still be getting booed. (Yes, I'm being a smartass.)
Patrick Peterson Patrick Peterson, CB/KR, Cardinals
For the second time this season he returns a punt for a touchdown, and while it wasn't enough to beat Baltimore it was enough to make the game interesting. Peterson is a special talent, with some regarding him as the best player in this year's draft. Peterson will be a premier cornerback. For now, he's a premier return specialist.
Prisco Brinson
Patrick PetersonPatrick Peterson, CB/KR, Cardinals
He returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown against the Ravens, giving Arizona a 24-3 lead. They didn't hold on, but he still gets this award.
Patrick PetersonPatrick Peterson, CB/KR, Cardinals
Peterson became just the third rookie in NFL history to return two kicks of 80+ yards in a single season (Devin Hester and Craig Yeast are the others) with his ridiculous 82-yard TD return against the Ravens. A standout rookie in a fabulous rookie class.
Katzowitz Wilson
Patrick Peterson Patrick Peterson, CB/KR, Cardinals
Those who watched Peterson take a Ravens punt return back 82 yards for the touchdown won’t soon forget how easy the rookie first-round draft pick made it look. He looked so smooth, accelerating up the middle of the field and breaking five Baltimore tackles, that it was enough for me to award him this honor on the strength of just one play.
Patrick Peterson Patrick Peterson, CB/KR, Cardinals
He's still developing as a CB, but his ability on special teams is what makes him so dangerous. He shed five would-be tacklers on his touchdown return against the Ravens, and these weren't whiffed tackles. These were Ravens players who went from Peterson's shoulder pads, to his waste to his knees before ending up on the turf wondering what happened. It's too bad Peterson can't play quarterback, too.
Eye on Coaching Award
Freeman Judge
Andy ReidAndy Reid, HC, Eagles
Moved to 13-0 after bye weeks. Think about that for a moment. Here's a bye week. There's Andy Reid. Bye week + Reid = Win. There is no bigger guarantee in the NFL other than the Dolphins losing.

Mike Munchak Mike Tomlin, Steelers
He found a way to beat arch-nemesis New England ... er Tom Brady ... by remaining patient with his offensive game plan, controlling the clock and keeping Brady off the field. On defense, the Steelers were in man-to-man defense 70 percent of the time, bottling up Brady's receivers at the line, before unleashing the attack dogs on third down. Perfect.
Prisco Brinson
Steve SpagnuoloSteve Spagnuolo, HC, Rams
His team was 14-point dogs to the Saints on a day they were playing without their starting quarterback. So what happens? They dominate the game. They ran it, played good defense, and pulled off the upset for their first victory of the season. Who else can ever be mentioned here?   
Steve SpagnuoloSteve Spagnuolo, HC, Rams
There was zero chance the Rams were winning this game, against the high-scoring Saints and without quarterback Sam Bradford. But Spags designed a defensive attack that smothered Drew Brees, and he was smart enough to hand the ball to an inspired running back in Steven Jackson.
Katzowitz Wilson
Jim Schwartz Leslie Frazier, HC, Vikings
Just for the simple fact that Frazier recognized that Christian Ponder would provide a spark to his teamand replaced Donovan McNabb with Ponder as the starting quarterback. Sure, Mike Shanahan can tell you it wasn’t an unprecedented decision, but after beating the Panthers, it seemed like it came at the perfect time.
Steve Spagnuolo Steve Spagnuolo, HC, Rams
The man beat Drew Brees and one of the league's best offenses with a defense that is without its top four cornerbacks. And the Rams' offense was led not by Sam Bradford by by A.J. Feeley. In fact, we should name the award after Spagnuolo.


Posted on: September 30, 2011 1:02 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 3:45 pm
 

Plax: Tiki 'better than half the backs' in NFL

Posted by Will Brinson

A few years ago, Tiki Barber and Plaxico Burress were teammates. This summer, they found themselves together in the rare "left the game, got older and returned as free agents after being released by their old team for obvious reasons" category of players.

As we all know, Plax got signed (by the Jets) and Tiki landed just one tryout (with the Dolphins). The lack of interest in Tiki cemented what seemed obvious: he's too old to play running back in the NFL. As it turns out, though, his buddy Plax disagrees.

"It's crazy," Burress said to the New York Post about Barber not getting run with a team. "He's better than half the backs in the league."

OK, that's just wrong. Like, factually incorrect -- there are 90 running backs that have one or more carries this season. Guys who are listed lower than 45 (half!) include Steven Jackson, Darren Sproles and Arian Foster.

Tiki Barber is, quite clearly, not better than any of them.

The real problem is that Burress probably remembers Barber as the guy he played with back in New York, and not the guy who's been out of football for a few years and is now 36, an unacceptable age for a starting running back in the NFL.

Additionally, Burress doesn't seem to be taking into account the fact that Tiki is a) looking for money, so he'll be relatively expensive and b) a huge danger to be a locker-room distraction.

Oh yeah -- also on that list above? Larry Johnson. Who because the Dolphins signed him not once, but twice -- instead of bringing Barber in -- serves as perfect proof that Tiki's time is done in the NFL.

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Posted on: September 19, 2011 6:51 pm
Edited on: September 19, 2011 6:58 pm
 

Rams RB Steven Jackson out for Giants game

                        (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

This morning, head coach Steve Spagnuolo called running back Steven Jackson "a tough call" for the Rams-Giants Monday night game. According to CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, Jackson, who suffered a quadriceps injury in the Week 1 loss to the Eagles, is officially a no-go. The Rams running back told NFL Network's Albert Breer that he "Just couldn't open up." 

St. Louis has been hit hard by injuries early in the season: wide receiver Danny Amendola is out with an arm injury, cornerback Ronald Bartell is done for the year with a fractured bone in his neck, and quarterback Sam Bradford will play with a bruised right hand.

Cadillac Williams, who was selected fifth overall in 2005 by the Bucs, will start in Jackson's place. Williams' career has been marred by knee injuries but he signed with the Rams in the offseason to add depth.

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Posted on: September 19, 2011 11:20 am
 

Spagnuolo: Steven Jackson a 'tough call' Monday

Posted by Will Brinson


Steven Jackson was one of roughly 347* Rams to suffer an injury last Sunday in their loss to Philadelphia. And given the nature -- a strained quad/hammy -- of the injury, it's seems like Jackson's all but guaranteed to be out for Monday night's game.

Not so fast though -- Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said that there's a chance Jackson could play Monday and that the team rested him all week for that specific possibility.

"We knew the only shot he had was to rest it all the way through," Spagnuolo told Albert Breer of the NFL Network. "It’ll be a tough call."

Jackson still looks like a bad bet to play against the Giants on Monday night -- if he struggles at all in the pregame workout, there's little chance the Rams will roll him out.

And they've got Cadillac Williams in the proverbial garage, so it's not as if there's absolutely demanding need to have Jackson on the field. Clearly, they'd rather have their top running back available for the game -- the Giants are vulnerable defensively, and a healthy S-Jax is a difference-maker on Monday night.

But the Rams would be wise to heed the lesson the Texans learned on Sunday: the NFL season is a grind, and bringing back your star running back too early is a sure-fire recipe for losing him for a longer period of time.

*All numbers approximate

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Posted on: September 13, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Rams CB Ron Bartell confirms season is over

"My goal is to play again," Rams cornerback Ron Bartell said. "I'm fully prepared to play again. I'm approaching it as such that I will play again." (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

It took just 60 minutes, plenty of sloppy football and a season's worth of injuries to dash the hopes of a promising 2011 campaign for the Rams, who missed the playoffs and the NFC West Division title by just one game a year ago. In their Week 1 matchup against the Eagles, St. Louis didn't just lose on the scoreboard. Gone for the season are wide receiver Danny Amendola and Tuesday cornerback Ron Bartell joined him on injured reserve after suffering a fractured bone in his lower neck.

"My goal is to play again," he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Tuesday. "I'm fully prepared to play again. I'm approaching it as such that I will play again." Bartell added: "There's absolutely no way I could come back and play this year. It takes time just for the bone to heal."

In addition to Amendola and Bartell, running back Steven Jackson could missed the Monday night game against the Giants with a quadriceps injury, franchise quarterback Sam Bradford bruised his right index finger (good news: he plans to play this week), and according so the Associated Press, cornerback Bradley Fletcher has a sprained toe that might limit him, and offensive tackle Jason Smith has a sprained left ankle. The team had feared Smith, the second overall pick of the 2009 draft, had a high ankle sprain which would have sidelined him for as long as a month.

"There's a lot there, no question," Spagnuolo said Monday. "Nobody's going to bury their head in the sand, and we're not going to go away. We didn't envision beginning like that and we certainly didn't envision losing all these guys. …

The Post-Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz echoes Spagnuolo's sentiments, writing that injuries aren't an excuse.

"Only one game into the season, and the Rams are hurting. And it's a shame. By now you're aware of the injuries suffered in the 31-13 loss to the Eagles. It's a long list. But it's important to recognize something: it's OK to feel sorry for the Rams, but no one else will. Not their opponents, not the fans of other teams, not the rivals in the NFC West, not the coaches who are studying video to find ways to attack the Rams' new weaknesses. And the injury excuse won't hold up."

Exactly. Good teams find a way to win with backups, and if the Rams want to get back to the postseason, that's what they'll have to do. First up: seeing what veteran cornerback Al Harris has left in the tank because he'll see a lot more playing time now that Bartell is on the shelf for the year.

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Posted on: September 12, 2011 3:44 pm
 

Rams RB Steven Jackson likely to miss Week 2

Posted by Will Brinson

Earlier today, we noted that the injuries to the Rams were one of the bigger storylines from Week 1. Not only did Sam Bradford suffer a finger injury in the loss to Philadelphia, but wideout Danny Amendola will miss several weeks or more with a dislocated elbow and running back Steven Jackson injured his quad on an early 47-yard touchdown scamper.

X-rays on Bradford's finger came back negative, so that's good news -- but coach Steve Spagnuolo said on Monday that he doesn't expect Jackson to suit up for the Rams on Monday night against the Giants because of the quad injury.

"Bradford's right index finger is bruised," Spagnuolo said, via the Rams official Twitter account. "He'll be monitored this week but no nerve damage, nothing broken."

That was the "good" news. The bad news involves Jackson.

"Jackson does have a strained quadriceps," Spagnuolo said. "He's likely out this week but will be watched on a day to day basis."

If Jackson is indeed forced to miss the Monday night game against the Giants, the newly acquired Cadillac Williams will get most of the run for St. Louis. Caddy was actually pretty impressive against the Eagles, piling up 140 total yards on Sunday (91 rushing, 49 receiving) and given how badly the Giants defense looked against the Redskins, could conceivably be in line for a big game.

Right tackle Jason Smith also suffered an ankle sprain, but the Rams said it's not of the "high variety" which means that Smith could still suit up for St. Louis on Sunday.

All-in-all, the news has to be considered somewhat positive for St. Louis -- the number of injuries they suffered on Sunday offered the possibility to derail their season and now it looks like things are at least a little less ominous than they were 24 hours ago.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com