One of the biggest benefits of a bye week is the extra time afforded the team to nurse some injuries and get back in good physical health. The Rams will take full advantage of the extra time before jumping headfirst into the Octet of Pain with a trip to Philadelphiam, currently 3-0, on Oct. 5.
Let's take a look at the injured Rams starting with the ones furthest out:
DE Chris Long (ankle)
Long's still a long way out (SBN pays by the injury pun, and daddy's gotta eat. Go ahead and foot me the bill. (STEAK NIGHT!)). He has transitioned from his scooter to a walking boot and crutches which is obviously a sign of improvement. Long recently joked that trainer Reggie Scott warned him about going to fast on the scooter because Chris Long is always in a good mood and damnit I want Chris Long back on the field.
CB Trumaine Johnson (knee)
Positive sounds coming out of the Rams, but nothing substantive yet. He missed practice all week yet again. On the other hand, the initial six-week timetable would suggest a target to return right around Oct. 4....the day before the Eagles game. Fingers crossed.
CB Brandon McGee (foot)
McGee's injury should be worrisome at this point. He was held out of practice again this week after missing Sunday's game against the Cowboys. Obviously, the return of Tru would help mitigate the loss of McGee, but you worry about if this mysterious foot injury is going to plague McGee for a while.
C Barrett Jones (back)
Jones is seemingly close to returning participating in some individual work. And while Scott Wells' performances might have us all crying out for either Jones or Tim Barnes to get some snaps...well, let's just play it by ear. I wouldn't be surprised if Wells is locked in when healthy for his veteran expertise alone.
WR Tavon Austin (knee)
Austin should be ready to go next weekend. He, like Jones, was on an individual work plan. As for the gameplan on how to bring him back into an offense that was clicking well against Dallas and had yet to fully implement Stedman Bailey...well, OC Brian Schottenheimer has an extra week to think it through.
QB Shaun Hill (thigh? calf? emotions?)