As the St. Louis Rams prepare to face the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football, the status of running back Steven Jackson is still uncertain. Jackson is listed as questionable on the injury report, but he had that designation this past Sunday and still played. Getting the running game going will be vital if the Rams want to control the tempo of the game with the Cards so his presence is essential.
One thing that does bode well for Jackson being available is the fact that he was at least able to practice Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Last week leading up to the game against the Seattle Seahawks, Jackson never took a rep in practice so at least his groin injury is feeling good enough to get out on the field.
What the Rams and fantasy football owners are still waiting for in 2012 is a breakout game from Jackson. He has been equaled in terms of production by rookie backup Daryl Richardson to this point in the season. Obviously a groin injury is just about the worst possible ailment for a running back to be fighting during the course of the season. Jackson’s increased participation in practice along with his better leg drive and initial burst through the hole last week suggests that he may be moving nearer to that long-awaited big game.
Expect the Rams to really focus on their ground attack in the game against the Cardinals as they have quite a bit of talent in their secondary. Head Coach Jeff Fisher has always been a run-oriented coach as well so it’s about time his new club starts taking on those characteristics. Quarterback Sam Bradford will likely be in more of a game manager role if the Rams hope to get the win. Getting Jackson plenty of touches will be important to keep the pressure off of Bradford when he does drop back and to shorten the game when it comes to the time of possession.
On paper this one looks like it will be a defensive struggle. Having that balanced offensive attack with a clock controlling element will be crucial if the Rams want to be on the right side of the scoreboard at the end of 60 minutes.
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