Rams' Little to miss six weeks with knee injury

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Rams defensive end Leonard Little will miss six weeks after tearing a knee ligament, the team said.

Little was one of several players injured in a 24-17 win at New England Sunday night. Rookie defensive tackle Damione Lewis is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a broken foot.

Little had at least one sack in each of the last six games and is among the league leaders with nine overall. Coach Mike Martz originally said Monday he thought Little would miss only 1-2 weeks with a sprained knee ligament, but an exam revealed a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

The injury does not require surgery, just a brace and rehab, Martz said.

The Rams plan to send the league office a tape of the play where Little was injured. Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins hit Little low on the play, defensive line coach Bill Kollar said. If the league office determines it was an illegal block, Wiggins could be fined.

Backups Tyoka Jackson and Sean Moran are expected to see time at left defensive end with Little injured, along with Chidi Ahanotu, who has shared the position with Little.

Several other players are questionable for the Rams' home game against Tampa Bay Monday night. They include safety Adam Archuleta (concussion, sprained ankle), wide receiver-punt returner Az-Zahir Hakim (sprained ankle), linebacker Mark Fields (sprained ankle) and tight end Ernie Conwell (shoulder).

Lewis and Archuleta were among three first-round picks in this year's draft.

The Rams are hesitant to place Lewis and Little on injured reserve because Martz wants them back at the end of the season and for the playoffs, if possible.

In the meantime, the third first-round pick, Ryan Pickett, will get some playing time at defensive tackle.

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