Steven Jackson will be ready to go this week, when the St. Louis Rams take on the Detroit Lions in a rematch of last year's two worst teams. Jackson had a strained (i.e. mile tear) groin last week, but that didn't stop him from being a major factor in the Rams win against Seattle, one of the toughest run defenses in the league.
Jackson isn't the only member of the Rams getting healthy. Updates and comments on Atogwe, tight ends and Laurent Robinson after the jump.
WR Laurent Robinson was participating fully in yesterday's practice. Last year, it looked like the Rams had partially answered the question about whether or not they had a legit receiver with Robinson's strong start to the season. Then he was injured in week 3 and spent the season on IR. This year, early returns haven't been positive.
Robinson missed the last two games, games the Rams won. When he was in the lineup in the Rams first two games of the season, Robinson was mostly a disappointment, catching 4 passes for 22 yards and a touchdown. The worst part is that he's got just a 31 percent catch rate, and has struggled to get separation against opposing defenses this year. His foot injury hasn't helped.
Brandon Gibson replaced Robinson in the lineup, and after a shaky start featuring too many dropped balls against Washington, he had a nice outing last week, catching 3 passes for 50 yards and a TD against Seattle. I doubt the Rams replace Gibson with Robinson considering the information, and it's something to watch this week. Robinson will doubtlessly play this week; how much and whether or not he makes the case to get his starting gig back remains to be seen.
LB Chris Chamberlain and TEs Michael Hoomanawanui and Billy Bajema are a week or two away. The Rams could really use both of them back next week, for blocking if nothing else, against a tough Chargers defense that has the second most sacks of any team in the NFL.
The defensive tackle situation is a little fuzzy this week. Starter Gary Gibson is day to day, Darrell Scott is out and Clifton Ryan's status is still unknown as he deals with migraines. Jermelle Cudjo did a fine job in relief work last week.
The Lions will be without QB Matthew Stafford this week.
It's amazing how this Rams team is gelling. This is the prime example of unit cohesion. Read between the lines of Ron Bartell's quotes on Bradley Fletcher in this article from the Belleville News-Democrat. Reading between the line it's clear that Bartell is a leader on this defense who understands where his unit mates are at and where they need to be. Also notable, Bradley Fletcher, as good as he's been, is still not 100 percent. Wow.