There are songs proclaiming this the most wonderful time of the year, but for many football players December is one of the toughest times of the year physically.
A few St. Louis Rams players were feeling the sting of a long season this week, as starters Cortland Finnegan, James Laurinaitis and Steven Jackson all missed days of practice due to injuries that are unlikely to keep them out of Sunday’s contest against the Minnesota Vikings.
Jackson, a regular on the injury report, missed practice Wednesday with a foot injury and was a limited participant Thursday before taking Friday off as well. Finnegan missed both Wednesday and Thursday’s practice with an ankle injury but was a full participant Friday. Laurinaitis is dealing with a back injury that kept him out until Friday, when he was able to practice on a limited basis. Despite their injuries, all three are listed as probable for the game.
Also probable is starting strong safety Craig Dahl. Dahl was dealing with concussion symptoms after last Sunday’s game and on Monday head coach Jeff Fisher said it would be a day-to-day injury, but after missing Wednesday’s practice Dahl was a full participant Thursday and Friday and is probable for the game.
It’s a game in which the Rams will sorely need Dahl, as they’ll be attempting to stop the NFL’s leading rusher, Adrian Peterson. Peterson showed up on the Vikings injury report with an abdomen injury that limited him in practice, but he is listed as probable. There’s little doubt Peterson, who has 1,600 yards and 10 touchdowns in 13 games, will be on the field for the matchup.
Center Scott Wells, who has been dealing with a knee injury since returning from a broken foot, took Wednesday’s practice off but was able to fully participate Thursday and Friday. Wide receiver Danny Amendola, who has appeared on the injury report along with Wells in recent weeks, didn’t miss a practice this week and is probable for the game. Amendola has missed the past two games with a foot injury.
The only Rams player questionable for the game is defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo, who suffered a foot injury during the week and was forced to miss Friday’s practice.
The Vikings side of the injury report is similar to the Rams’ in that a lot of names appear, most of them probable for Sunday. Names like offensive tackle Phil Loadholt, tight end Kyle Rudolph and defensive end Jared Allen all appear on the list but none are expected to miss the game. Only starting cornerback Antoine Winfield, who missed all week with a knee injury, is questionable.