Deciphering the injury status of players on a short week like the one the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals are dealing with is a tall order. Many players skip practices or are limited simply to give their bodies a rest. Guys might not practice all week and then suit up on Thursday night without complication. Only the people inside the Rams training center truly know how healthy or unhealthy their team is.
That said, we still have some information. A few things to be gleaned from the injury report from Tuesday:
-RB Steven Jackson did not practice Monday but was limited Tuesday. That’s a positive step for Jackson, who didn’t practice each of the last two weeks before playing on Sunday. Even a limited Jackson suggests he’s making progress toward getting back to 100 percent.
-DT Michael Brockers is notably absent from the injury report. Brockers practiced in a limited capacity all last week and was questionable for Sunday’s game, but the first-round pick suited up and seems to have escaped the game without incident. His ankle held up well enough that he’s practicing without limitations this week, a positive sign for the Rams. The Rams run defense has struggled in the earlygoing, ranking 26th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game. The quicker Brockers gets up to speed, the better that number should get.
-DT Matt Conrath is working his way back as well. Conrath has been dealing with a knee injury that’s held him out of practice and games thus far. He’s been limited this week, which at least represents a step in the right direction for the rookie. It’s still unlikely he’ll be active Thursday night, but this may be the last week Conrath is unavailable to go.
-DE Eugene Sims, who had arguably his best game of the year Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, hasn’t practiced due to a head injury sustained during the game. With the increased concern over head injuries in the NFL, Sims may have some hoops to jump through before being able to play. Until more is known about the nature of Sims’ injury, it’s hard to envision him being on the field Thursday.
-T Wayne Hunter, who has been fighting various injuries since coming to the Rams in a trade during the preseason, did not practice on Monday and was limited Tuesday. With T Rodger Saffold still out with a knee injury, the Rams need Hunter to protect QB Sam Bradford’s blind side. Hunter has played through the injuries thus far, so it’s fair to assume he’ll be in there Thursday as well.
-Of interest on the Cardinals, DT Darnell Dockett, LB Paris Lenon, DT Dan Williams and RB LaRod Stephens-Howling were all limited in practice as of Tuesday. S Adrian Wilson, who is dealing with ankle and groin injuries, has been a full participant all week. It looks like the Rams won’t catch any breaks Thursday.