– Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo just wrapped up his Monday news conference discussing Sunday’s heart wrenching 18-17 loss to Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium. The biggest news came on the injury front where RB Steven Jackson had surgery on his left ring finger after it was fractured in Sunday’s game. Jackson had two pins inserted into the finger.
– Jackson’s surgery wasn’t major and he tweeted this afternoon (@sj39) that he “shouldn’t miss a beat.” He might be limited in practice but I think it’s fair to not question whether he’ll play this week against Carolina. The guy pretty much plays through everything.
– S James Butler, however, does have a knee sprain. It’s unclear how long he will be out but he’s definitely going to miss this week’s contest.
– CB Ron Bartell had the other injury of the most note. His shoulder is sore and the extent of that injury is unknown right now. Spagnuolo said Bartell would give it another day to see how he feels Tuesday. If he’s still not feeling right, then the Rams and Bartell will likely take a closer look at it with an MRI.
– DT Darell Scott suffered another ankle injury though it’s not as severe as the one he just returned from. He’ll be monitored day to day.
– DT Fred Robbins will have his toe looked at. He played through that injury Sunday and is expected to be OK.
– CB Bradley Fletcher (hamstring) and LB James Laurinaitis (knee) will be monitored day to day but should be fine.
– As for the game, Spagnuolo again expressed disappointment about the outcome. And I have to say, in my nearly six and a half years of covering this team, that was probably the most dejected locker room I’ve entered. Just a brutal loss in a game the Rams could certainly have won. Spagnuolo did mention that he thought it was a good thing his team was so upset. It means they care and will do everything possible to ensure a loss like that never happens again.
“We should still have the same confidence we had 48 hours ago. That doesn’t change. We are the same team. so go out there and practice with confidence this week to go win a game. That’s what we will be focused on.”
– On the topic of the missed opportunities that continue to plague the Rams defense, specifically the easy interceptions they continue to drop, Spagnuolo suggested that it might be more of a mental thing at this point and maybe they should just stop talking about it and let it happen organically.
– Spagnuolo also continued to stand by the decision to take timeouts at the end of the first half in hopes of getting the ball back for his offense. The theory is simple, too, that the Rams could have gone up three scores and really made things hard on the Bucs coming out of the locker room at the half.
“No. No. No. I just felt like 17-3, I felt good about our offense getting the ball back,” Spagnuolo said. “Again, this is confidence in the defense now, I never expected that third and (16) that they would get that third and (16). I wanted to leave as much time on the clock as we could for the offense. They got the first down and they were off and running.”
– After a scintillating debut, Rams WR Danario Alexander was mostly quiet against Tampa. In fact, his reps were a bit limited overall. But Spagnuolo said that had nothing to do with a sore knee and everything to do with the game plan.
“There was nothing there. The way the offense works with the receivers is they are in there for certain plays. When those are dialed up, he goes in. It’s not you have this series, you have that series. It doesn’t work that way. It just worked out that way.”
– For the record, the Rams clearly had the intent to run the ball and used a lot of multiple tight end sets to try to make sure that happened. Spagnuolo did say he’d like to see more of Alexander in the future.
“Yeah, I would like to get him more involved. No question.”
– About 975 tickets remain for Sunday’s game against the Panthers and the pre-game Isaac Bruce jersey retirement ceremony. If you want to be there, you can get tickets here at stlouisrams.com or by calling 314-RAMS-TIX.
– The Rams get back to work with practice on Wednesday as they begin preparation for this week’s game against Carolina and the Isaac Bruce retirement ceremony. With all of the hoopla surrounding the event, it should be a fun week. Stay tuned to stlouisrams.com for plenty of Bruce-related features throughout the week.
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