After two years on sidelines, Incognito tries to play big role

Sunday, June 11, 2006

ST. LOUIS -- Two years with zero game action is a hurdle the St. Louis Rams apparently believe Richie Incognito can clear.

The offensive lineman last played in the 2003 Alamo Bowl at Nebraska before disciplinary woes ended his college career, and he came to the NFL with a serious knee injury that knocked out his rookie season last year. But as the team began its final minicamp on Friday, he was running with the first team at left guard.

Incognito moved ahead of last year's rookie starter, Claude Terrell, during organized team activities held between minicamps. Mike Martz, who drafted him last year, said Incognito would have been a first-round pick instead of a third-rounder without the injury sustained just before the draft.

"I'm working hard, learning the plays, trying not to make too many mistakes," Incognito said. "Trying to make no mistakes.

"I'm just going to do my thing and work hard, and we'll see when training camp comes around."

Incognito is making his move while Terrell, a fourth-round pick last year, recuperates from surgery on his right wrist.

Just being back on the field is almost enough for now for the 300-pound Incognito, an all-Big 12 selection as a sophomore in 2003. He was suspended for repeated violations of team rules before the 2004 season, and subsequently dismissed at Oregon later that year after attempting to transfer.

Last year was all rehab. The Rams placed him on injured reserve in November.

"It's just great being a football player again," Incognito said. "When you're on IR it's a tough deal, you're kind of like an outsider."

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