ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 16: Running back Daryl Richardson #26 of the St. Louis Rams lunges for the goalline during the game against the Washington Redskins at Edward Jones Dome on September 16, 2012 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
There is only one groin that matters in St. Louis this week, and it belongs to running back Steven Jackson. He sat out Friday's practice, the third in a row, and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears. That does not mean he will not play this week, however.
Fisher was clear about Jackson's veteran status and not at all concerned about his ability to play without practicing this week.
"Steve's been in the league how many years," Fisher asked. "He knows his body. He knows this offense. I'm not concerned about that. Now, you treat everybody different. It would be different if you had a rookie that didn't practice all week and then you ask him to go in and play, that's unfair of him. But don't have that kind of policy. We're realistic about that."
If Jackson cannot play, the coaching staff has a similar level of confidence in Daryl Richardson and the running backs behind him on the roster.
"You know, I think, both of them can step in and make plays for us," Fisher said of Isaiah Pead and Richardson. "We even like (RB) Terrance (Ganaway). Terrance's got some run skills. So, if ‘Jack' (Steven Jackson) can't go, we'll get the game done with the three of them."
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was more effusive in his praise for the seventh-round pick.
"It was one of those deals where he just showed up each and every week," Schottenheimer said. "He's a very decisive runner, when you watch him. Even on the long run he has last week, he takes his footwork, his aiming point, he makes a decision and he goes. We love that. And then obviously, he's got the explosive play ability. Just a consistent performer. For a young back in this league where you've got all these pressures and blitzes that people bring at you, he did a great job tackling the playbook. Just performed each and every week on a high level."
I suspect that Jackson will suit up this week. Playing coy on his injury adds a little to the pre-game psychological operations, maybe baiting the Bears into thinking that Jackson will be unavailable. Even if he does play, Richardson will likely be sharing some of the carries with Jackson; he's certainly earned that opportunity.
For the Rams, an effective running back committee makes the offense that much more potent. Should that continue through the season, it will be interesting to see what that running back committee looks like as the months keep coming off the calendar.