JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 01: Quarterback Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams attempts a pass during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on September 1, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Rams Vs. Giants: Sam Bradford Will Play Monday Night

The St. Louis Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles tangle in Week 1 of the 2011 NFL season. Follow along on SB Nation St. Louis for live updates.

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19 Total Updates since September 15, 2011
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St. Louis Rams: Steven Jackson's Injury Could Mean A Cadillac Williams Start Week 2

With Steven Jackson's quad injury holding him out of practice—though the St. Louis Rams still haven't said he won't play—it's looking like the 58% of people who currently, for whatever reason, own Cadillac Williams in fantasy football might get their wildest wish granted Week 2 against the New York Giants. Williams would get the lion's share of the carries without Jackson in the backfield, and after his outstanding performance in relief of Jackson Week 1—140 total yards on 24 touches—he could be reasonably expected to do something with them. 

Jerious Norwood, whose role was limited Week 1, could also stand to benefit from Jackson's absence, although I am relieved to note that he's only owned in 0.8% of leagues. 

The St. Louis Rams are the party that won't benefit from all this fantasy-point-shuffling, but Jackson's absence this early in the season certainly serves to justify the decision they made, following the lockout, to get their heavily worked starter some competent backups for the first time in his career. That they won't be backups Monday night is less than ideal, but remember: There, but for the grace of the gods of football, goes Kenneth Darby...


Sam Bradford Injured In Fourth Quarter As St. Louis Rams Trail

Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams finally appeared to have gotten in rhythm with the game looking out of reach in the fourth quarter, and then the worst injury yet stacked itself atop the injuries to Steven Jackson, Jason Smith, and Danny Amendola that had already colored Week 1: Sam Bradford appeared to injure his throwing hand in the course of a 30-yard completion to Brandon Gibson.

No news yet on the severity of the injury, but Bradford didn’t appear distraught—at least not yet—and the Rams were unlikely to take any chances in a game that had quickly gotten out of hand. He finishes the game 17-for-30 with 188 yards, no touchdowns, and a fumble that was recovered for a touchdown. He was replaced by backup A.J. Feeley, who hasn’t played in a regular-season NFL game since he was the Philadelphia Eagles’ backup in 2007.

The Rams released third-stringer Thaddeus Lewis despite a strong preseason performance; hopefully that won’t become an issue next week.


Danny Amendola Injured, Could Miss Significant Time

The injuries keep coming for the St. Louis Rams, who lost Steven Jackson after his first carry of the season, had Jason Smith leave the game early after missing some crucial blocks in front of Sam Bradford, and now look to have lost their leading receiver from 2010 for significant time. Danny Amendola appeared to injure his arm on a play that apparently looked gruesome enough in slow motion that FOX won’t show it again.

Amendola caught 85 balls for 689 yards in his second season with the Rams, emerging as Sam Bradford’s favorite target after Donnie Avery and Mark Clayton both went down with season-ending injuries. The injury leaves the Rams without any stability in the wide receiving corps after a makeover that saw them jettison Avery in favor of Mike Sims-Walker (who has no receptions thus far) and make a second-round investment in tight end Lance Kendricks, who’s struggled mightily after a brilliant preseason in which he led the team in receptions and made some big plays for Bradford and Josh McDaniels.

UPDATE: The St. Louis Rams' Twitter is reporting that Amendola dislocated his elbow. No word yet as to the severity of the injury. 


St. Louis Rams Can't Stop Mike Vick, Trail 24-10

Mike Vick hasn’t shown his most accurate form to date, but the St. Louis Rams haven’t been able to apply consistent pressure to the Philadelphia Eagles’ ringleader and he’s made them pay for it, going 13-for-28 for 190 yards and two touchdowns through the air and rushing for an additional 69 yards on six carries to keep the Rams’ defense on the field.

Without Steven Jackson to eat up ground and clock on the offense—he’s out with a quad injury, just after rushing 47 yards for a touchdown on his first carry of the season—the Rams’ defense has had to go up against Mike Vick again and again, and the matchup hasn’t been a pleasant one.

Bradford, meanwhile, hasn’t been in a position to do much damage. Constantly under pressure by the Eagles’ defense and victimized by some crucial drops from Lance Kendricks, Bradford is 10-for-18 for just 99 yards and a crucial fumble that was recovered for a touchdown in the first half and arrested their momentum early.


Rams Vs. Eagles Halftime: Steven Jackson Out, Sam Bradford Pressured, Rams Still In It

Steven Jackson’s quad injury will likely keep him out of the rest of the game, Sam Bradford’s been victimized by a struggling offensive line, and Mike Vick has looked exactly like he did last year—and the St. Louis Rams are still down by just a touchdown, going into halftime down 17-10.

That’s the most the Rams could have hoped for, especially after Bradford fumbled a ball for a touchdown early. Jackson left the game after rushing for 47 yards and a touchdown on his the Rams’ first drive of the season; Cadillac Williams has been strong in the primary role, rushing 10 times for 50 yards, but Jackson’s role in the Rams’ new offense looked to be crucial against the Eagles’ unseasoned linebackers.

Without him Sam Bradford has been constantly under pressure, with young linemen Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold struggling to keep the defensive line out of his face at any given moment. He’s 6-for-13 with 64 yards passing, and has been bothered by two drops from Lance Kendricks after an outstanding preseason.

But for all that they’re down just a touchdown going into halftime against the most-hyped team of the 2011 NFL season. The Rams are still in position to make a run in the third quarter, where they’ll receive the opening kickoff.


Mike Vick Dominant Until St. Louis Rams Force, Recover Fumble In Red Zone

The St. Louis Rams couldn’t stop Mike Vick in the second quarter—everything the Philadelphia Eagles star tried, running and passing, seemed to work, and the defense couldn’t seem to get pressure on Vick, who seemed to move around on a Segway behind the line of scrimmage until the play resolved itself for him. But Quintin Mikell, a defensive back most recently of the Philadelphia Eagles, came out of nowhere to sack Vick in the red zone, and James Laurinaitis leapt on the ball for the fumble.

Already trailing 14-10 it was a crucial stop for the Rams ahead of halftime, one that resulted in a Donnie Jones punt back into Eagles territory. The Rams defense has thus far looked strong when it’s able to apply pressure to Vick, but that’s been extremely difficult for them to do consistently. When it doesn’t happen Vick has looked downfield for the death blow as often as not, and eventually, given enough chances, he’s going to connect.


Steven Jackson's Return Questionable In St. Louis Rams-Eagles Matchup

Steven Jackson started the 2011 season with an exclamation point, rushing for 47 yards and a touchdown on his first touch of the St. Louis Rams’ 2011 season, but he’s continued Week 1 with a question mark—Jackson is questionable to return for the rest of the Rams’ game with the Philadelphia Eagles, stuck on the sidelines with an undisclosed injury after another rush for nine yards.

Jackson played all 16 games last season for the first time since 2006, but it came against a hail of minor nagging injuries that led to his first ever yards-per-carry below four. Cadillac Williams has been outstanding in his absence, justifying the decision to grab some name backups—he’s rushed eight times for 48 yards in the early going, and shown a speed most people haven’t seen since he was The Cadillac Williams, rookie sensation and not backup-to-the-stars.

You’d hate to get your first look at Josh McDaniels’s new offense without one of its most crucial pieces, but that’s what’s gone on so far.

Follow SB Nation St. Louis for more updates on Steven Jackson’s condition on our Rams-Eagles storystream.


Philadelphia Eagles Force Sam Bradford Fumble, Lead Rams 14-7

The St. Louis Rams’ offense was driving the ball well, but all that stopped in an instant—Sam Bradford fumbled and Juqua Parker returned it for a touchdown to silence the Edward Jones Dome faithful and put the Eagles up 14-7 with four minutes left in the first quarter.

The Rams’ offense has been defined primarily by the run in the first quarter, a surprise given Josh McDaniels’s reputation—Steven Jackson ran for 47 yards and a touchdown on the first offensive drive of the season, and Cadillac Williams had five early rushes for 34 yards on that ill-fated drive. Bradford was 2-for-2 with a five yards in the early going, a result strongly and surprisingly reminiscent of his rookie season in Pat Shurmur’s offense.

The Eagles’ defense was infamously rebuilt during the NFL Lockout-shortened offseason prior to 2011, after allowing an ugly 31 passing touchdowns in 2010. Free agency and trades have turned a weakness into one of the team’s most conspicuous strengths in preseason analysis.


Rams Vs. Eagles: Steven Jackson Rushes For 47-Yard Touchdown On St. Louis Rams' First Drive

Welcome back, Steven Jackson—after an offseason of relative anonymity in which his backups and Sam Bradford’s new offensive coordinator left him a hazy, backgrounded figure Jackson rushed for 47 yards and a touchdown on the St. Louis Rams’ first drive of the season, putting the Rams up 7-0 in the first quarter of their contest with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jackson, lined up deep in the backfield, took a handoff from Bradford and just found an enormous hole in the Eagles’ linebacking corps; he took it and didn’t look back, evading the Eagles’ secondary and charging in his usual upright sprint into the end zone.

The play is already Jackson’s longest since 2009—his high in 2010, the worst season of his career by a number of metrics, was 42. In 2011 he’ll be set up for more of these game-breaking plays and, thanks to Cadillac Williams, fewer of those back-breaking runs directly into the line of scrimmage for a yard and the first down.

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