Last week the Rams missed Redskins WR Pierre Garcon. This week, the Bears will also be without a big-time playmaker on offense when the teams meet Sunday:
-DT Michael Brockers (ankle), DT Matt Conrath (knee), S Matt Daniels (hamstring), T Rodger Saffold (knee), T Wayne Hunter (ankle), RB Steven Jackson (groin) and FB Brit Miller (thigh) were all listed on Friday’s injury report. Conrath, Daniels and Saffold are all out for Sunday. Although Brockers didn’t practice all week, he’s listed as doubtful for the game. Hunter, Jackson and Miller are all questionable.
-Jackson is the big question mark. The Pro Bowl running back didn’t practice all week after leaving last Sunday’s game with a groin injury. Rams coach Jeff Fisher clarified that he doesn’t have a policy that a player must practice to play on Sunday, so Jackson’s prospects for the game are largely unknown.
Jackson addressed his situation Thursday.
“I’m not 100 percent, but day-to-day,” Jackson said. “The injury is not as significant as we once thought it was and we’re just going to go from there. I still have the three days before the game. Each and every day buys me time.”
-If Jackson isn’t able to go, rookie RB Daryl Richardson will get the bulk of the work in his place. Richardson took over for Jackson Sunday and held his own, carrying the ball 15 times for 83 yards. Richardson also caught two passes for 19 yards. Fisher said he’s got full faith in Richardson if Jackson isn’t able to play.
“There’s nothing that he can’t do at this point,” Fisher said. “He’s a good, hard runner. He runs inside, outside, understands protections and he showed last week that he can catch it out of the backfield.”
-Hunter was a full participant in Friday’s practice and should be good for Sunday. Backup T Ty Nsekhe stands to see more work if Hunter is limited or can’t go.
-For the Bears, RB Matt Forte didn’t practice all week and has been officially ruled out for Sunday. DE Julius Peppers was also listed on the injury report after missing Wednesday’s practice, but he’s probable for the game and will almost certainly be out there wreaking havoc.
Missing Forte is only partially good news for the Rams. The Bears signed RB Michael Bush in the offseason as a complement to Forte. The fifth-year running back rushed for 977 yards and seven touchdowns with Oakland last season. The back offers his own unique set of challenges for the Rams defense.
“Michael Bush is a good back,” assistant head coach Dave McGinnis said. “He’s a real back in this league. He’s been a starter in this league. He can play. He’s a power runner, but he’s a running back in the National Football League. He’s got enough ‘juju’ to him to make you miss in the open field.”