By Cedric Williams
Veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who missed all of four games and parts of two others with ankle and hamstring injuries, has yet to practice this week for the St. Louis Rams while dealing with an eye injury.
The Rams came back to work off their bye week on Tuesday, and will have two more practices and several more gameplan meetings this weekend before Sunday’s kickoff against the Chicago Bears, but so far, Finnegan hasn’t been able to participate, which could mean second-year man Trumaine Johnson could be back in the starting lineup to replace him.
Johnson played very well in the four games Finnegan missed earlier this season, and even made a sensational leaping interception in the end zone that helped preserve St. Louis’ 38-8 win over the Indianapolis Colts two Sundays ago.
So if Finnegan can’t play, or at least start for the Rams on Sunday, the club is comfortable having Johnson out there instead.
“He’s coming along really well, and that’s the thing with him,” Rams defensive coordinator Tim Walton said during his weekly media session following Wednesday practice. “You like to see the growth of the guys and you can see each week that fundamentally he’s getting better, understanding the game, being more aggressive in the man and zone coverages. I’m pleasantly surprised with his progressions.”
Five other players were listed on the Rams injury report. Those names were: right guard Harvey Dahl (knee), who won’t be able to practice or play until at least next month some time; third-string quarterback Brady Quinn (hip); special teams performer Chase Reynolds (knee) — none of the three has practice at all this week.
While safeties Darian Stewart (foot) and Matt Giordano (thigh) both practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday and Thursday, the latter four players are all considered questionable for Sunday’s game, and Dahl will definitely not play at all.
For Chicago, starting quarterback Jay Cutler (ankle) and starting outside linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) are both out, and may be joined by starting nose tackle Stephen Paea (toe) and left corner Isaiah Frey (hand), who both missed practice on Wednesday or Thursday and are considered doubtful for Sunday.
Other Bears starters listed on the report, were defensive end Shea McClellin (hamstring) and right tackle Jordan Mills (quadricep). McClellin has practiced all week and is considered probable for Sunday, while McClellin is questionable, after being limited in practice this week.
St. Louis Rams Injury Report
Player ……………….. Pos … Injury
- Cortland Finnegam .. CB …. Eye
- Harvey Dahl …….. OG …. Knee
- Brady Quinn …….. QB …. Hip
- Chase Reynolds ….. TE …. Knee
- Darian Stewart ….. S ….. Foot
- Matt Giordano …… S ….. Thigh
Chicago Bears Injury Report
Player …………….. Pos … Injury
- Jay Cutler ……… QB …. Ankle
- Lance Briggs ……. LB …. Shoulder
- Isaiah Frey …….. CB …. Hand
- Stephen Paea ……. NT …. Toe
- Craig Steltz ……. S ….. Concussion
- Jordan Mills ……. OT …. Quadricep
- Jeremiah Ratliff … DT …. Groin
- Patrick Mannelly … LS …. Calf
- Shea McClellin ….. DE …. Hamstring
For more Rams news and updates, visit Rams Central.
Cedric Williams, a lifelong St. Louisan and proud UMSL alum, has been a freelance reporter/photographer covering St. Louis area sports for nearly two decades. Most recently, he has been working as a credentialed beat writer covering the Rams and small-school college sports for Examiner.com and other outlets from around the area. Please share any comments, questions, or feedback with Cedric at email@example.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.