Steven Jackson's Status Completely Unknown

Steven Jackson is easily the best player the Rams have, when healthy. Of course, he's not healthy at this point, as evidenced by his lackluster at best performance Sunday. Apparently he wasn't as confident as he led everyone to believe leading up to the game.

When the Rams' offense trotted out for their first series of the day Sunday, Jackson was in the huddle. But before the Rams broke the huddle for their first play, Antonio Pittman had replaced Jackson. What happened?

With his strained right thigh muscle not 100 percent, Jackson said he wasn't comfortable running the play once he heard the call.

"The play call was really more of an outside play, a cutback play," (Jim) Haslett said. "He didn't think he was ready for that play. ... It kind of caught everybody off guard."

The entire backfield was in flux for the game, as Antonio Pittman and Travis Minor also suffered injuries. The Rams offense was handcuffed at that point. They had Jackson and Pittman fight through injuries, but they really couldn't advance the ball via the ground as a team.

In order to avoid similar problems this week, Jim Haslett is taking a different approach than last week.

"Steven's got to give us a full day's work this week," Haslett said Monday. "We can't go into the game not knowing whether he can play or not. So we just decided that we're going to make sure that he can actually go in practice, and not just jog through."

The biggest problem for the Rams was that they did have a healthy running back -- Kenneth Darby -- but he didn't dress because they were counting on Jackson.

Fantasy Spin:
Well, on the bright side you'll know if Jackson is playing or not before Sunday. The down side, though, is that it doesn't look good. Jackson's reported sore this week, and last week he said he wasn't. I'm really worried he won't be able to go this week.

Coach Haslett didn't sound optimistic as to the chances of Pittman playing, Travis Minor is also a questionable bet following his concussion.

All that's left, is Mr. Darby. The man who was on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad when the season began.

The Jets have a tough run defense anyway, so I'd definitely avoid nabbing one of the backups. If Jackson plays, though, you have to start him. He's a beast when he plays full-go. I'm crossing my fingers he is this week.

Steven Jackson's Status Completely Unknown originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Tue, 04 Nov 2008 13:39:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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