Warner's seven interceptions stick out like a sore thumb

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

ST. LOUIS -- Seven interceptions from Kurt Warner in two games is causing a bit of concern for the St. Louis Rams.

Warner threw four interceptions in a 34-31 loss to the Saints two weeks ago, and three more in Sunday's 48-14 blowout victory over the Carolina Panthers. Afterward, he said he's been bothered by a sprained thumb since the season opener, especially on long balls, where the ball appears to hang up.

"I've always been successful throwing the long ball and haven't had as many do what they've done the past two weeks for me," Warner said. "I have to guess that's part of it."

Coach Mike Martz said Monday that team trainers are treating the injury "very aggressively," a departure from previous weeks.

"They were treating it before, he was just kind of taping it up and going with it," Martz said. "We didn't realize the extent of the discomfort he had with it."

Martz said the Rams didn't realize it because Warner wasn't talking about it.

"I've never really talked to him about it, because it's never been an issue before," Martz said. "He'd say, 'It's OK, it's a little sore, but it's fine."'

"So, you don't think about it."

Actually, Warner said the Rams began more aggressive treatment last week.

"We kind of took the approach that let's just go and try to strengthen it and maybe the more we work it then maybe the inflammation won't come up," Warner said. "I don't know, I'm just doing what they tell me to do and trying to get it as healthy as I can."

Martz believes Warner, who dropped from second to fourth in NFC passer rating after going 14-for-20 for 144 yards against the Panthers, has more trouble when he has to move around in the pocket. The coach isn't overly concerned, at least publicly, saying Warner just needs to make better decisions knowing he can't do the same things he can do when he's healthy.

"In the past, he could just whip it out there," Martz said. "Now he's going to have to be more careful."

Warner said the thumb just is not as strong as he'd like it to be.

"It's one of those things," he said. "You've got to deal with it and you're just hoping it gets healthy pretty soon."

Martz said he's not worried that teams will protect more against the medium-range throws, forcing Warner to go deep. In fact, he said he hoped that would be the case.

The Rams' injury list is short, topped by a high ankle sprain to offensive guard Tom Nutten that could force him out of Sunday's game at New England. Cameron Spikes or Frank Garcia will fill in for Nutten in practice on Wednesday.

Special teams player Dustin Cohen might be out a week or two with a bruised tendon behind his knee, tight end Ernie Conwell has a minor Achilles strain and safety Kim Herring was feeling fine the day after sustaining a concussion.

The Rams also signed special teams player, O.J. Brigance.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: