Injuries continue to mount for Rams

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

ST. LOUIS -- The injury list keeps growing for the St. Louis Rams, especially on defense.

Free safety Kim Herring has a hip pointer from Monday night's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and backup linebacker Brian Allen has a hamstring injury, and both could be out for Sunday's game at Atlanta. End Grant Wistrom bruised his surgically repaired shoulder, although he's expected to play.

"The injury list is a little bit long," coach Mike Martz said Tuesday. "We're not unique. Everybody in the league has these problems and we just have to continue to fill in the ranks, so to speak, and play better."

The Rams' defense was already without end Leonard Little (knee), linebacker Don Davis (wrist), strong safety Adam Archuleta (ankle) and backup linebacker Dustin Cohen (knee) against the Buccaneers.

Little was expected to miss six weeks with a torn ligament, although coach Mike Martz said he was "way ahead of schedule." Davis had pins taken out of his dislocated wrist Tuesday in Indianapolis and is probably at least a week away, and Archuleta likely will be listed as doubtful.

Herring is day-to-day with his injury.

"Those things, you just can't really tell until the end of the week," Martz said. "We've got to give him some time."

If both safeties are out on Sunday, Martz said he'd likely move cornerback Dexter McCleon to safety along with backup Rich Coady, who started against the Buccaneers. That would move Dre' Bly to the other starting corner opposite Aeneas Williams.

Another safety, Jacoby Shepherd, could be released in the next few days after reporting late to practice on Saturday. Martz sent Shepherd, a second-round pick in the 2000 draft, home and then had his locker cleaned out at Rams Park.

The Rams got some good news with offensive tackle Orlando Pace, who encountered swelling in his right knee after the game. An MRI showed nothing more than a bruised thigh just above the knee.

Running back Marshall Faulk also is expected to play with a sore lower back after absorbing a couple of hard tackles. On one play, Warren Sapp picked up Faulk and rammed him to the turf.

"He had a couple of body slams," Martz said. "He'll play this week, but he's a little tender today."

Offensive guard Tom Nutten aggravated a high left ankle sprain that caused him to miss the Rams' victory at New England a week ago. But Martz expected Nutten, who relieved a struggling Frank Garcia in the third quarter, to play.

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