By Cedric Williams
After watching his team suffer a key loss in overtime last week to the Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher went into this week hoping he might get some of those players back for the club’s huge home game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
St. Louis was without its best defensive lineman Robert Quinn, perhaps its best player in the secondary in safety T.J. McDonald, and its starting right tackle Rob Havenstein in the game in Minnesota. It proved costly as the Vikings outlasted the Rams for a 21-18 overtime win.
On Friday though, all three players returned to practice and looked good enough in doing so to make Fisher believe they might be able to play Sunday against Chicago.
“We got better,” Fisher said following the team’s workout at the Rams Park Training Facility in Earth City on Friday. “T.J. practiced. Both Rob’s practiced. Quinn and Havenstein, so that was good. We even got Chris Long on the field a little bit, so they got better.”
Long, the Rams’ veteran left defensive end, has been out since suffering a knee injury in the Week 5 loss to Green Bay. But he was back at practice on Friday, doing some light work with the team that got him moved from the definitely out and unable to play list to the officially doubtful list.
Quinn, McDonald and Havenstein, who were all officially out last week, were moved to the questionable list for this week.
“Questionable, questionable, questionable. Limited practice, questionable. All three of them,” Fisher said.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was even more optimistic and excited about the possibility of getting several key guys back for Sunday’s matchup against the 3-5 Bears.
“Yeah, that’s looking pretty good,” Williams said. “So, I’m hoping and I don’t know until we see about whatever setback it is. At practice today, if they could take the psychological battle also of me giving them a bunch of static about being shocked that they’re actually dressed in uniform and doing what their job is supposed to be doing. But, they did a great job. So, we’ll see how it goes.”
In Chicago, No. 1 receiver Alshon Jeffery was listed as questionable on the Bears injury report after suffering a groin injury in practice this week. Jeffery did not practice on Thursday. He instead spent the entire day receiving treatment, before returning to the practice field on Friday.
“(I hurt my groin) just going real hard in practice, I guess,” Jeffery told Chicago-area media on Friday. “But I’m fine. I’ll be alright. It hasn’t restricted my movements too much.”
Bears head coach John Fox has said he believes Jeffery will play on Sunday.
St. Louis Rams Injury Report
RB Chase Reynolds (thigh)
LB Akeem Ayers (illness)
DE Robert Quinn (knee)
S T.J. McDonald (foot)
OT Rob Havenstein (ankle)
DE Chris Long (knee)
Chicago Bears Injury Report
DT Mitch Unrein (illness)
LB Pernell McPhee (knee)
S Antrell Rolle (anikle)
RB Matt Forte (knee)
OT Jermon Bushrod (knee)
WR Alshon Jeffrey (groin)
S Tracy Porter (hip)
Cedric Williams, a lifelong St. Louisan and proud UMSL alum, has been a full-time reporter/photographer covering St. Louis area sports for nearly two decades. Most recently, he has been working as a credentialed beat writer covering the NFL, as well as college and high school sports for the St. Louis American, Patch.com, and other outlets from around the area. Please share any comments, questions, or feedback with Cedric at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can be found on Examiner.com.