Steven Jackson's comments to reporters in St. Louis leave the impression the Rams' Pro Bowl running back might not play Sunday.
"Today in rehab, the leg’s still tight, the groin’s still tight, so it’s just one of those injuries where just time is what's really going to heal the injury," Jackson said.
Jackson said being smart about the injury is the most important thing. Playing an NFL game wouldn't seem like the smart thing to do, particularly if Jackson feared aggravating the injury and missing an extended period. But Jackson defined his status as "day-to-day" for the Rams' game against Seattle. He played through a back injury last season and ultimately needed surgery.
"This is a little different," Jackson told reporters. "Last year’s injury was more dealing with the nerve and there's no really pain medicine for that. It’s just your threshold of pain, where a groin injury is somewhat like a hamstring, soft tissue. It’s really hard. It’s really hard to deal with because certain things are just so limited because of the injury."
Jackson tried to play with another soft-tissue injury, this one to his thigh, during a 2008 game against Dallas. Then-Rams coach Jim Haslett initially described that injury as a "slight strain" and said Jackson would play the following week after being limited in practice. The team wound up holding out Jackson for one game. Jackson returned two weeks after the injury, only to leave the game after seven carries. He missed the next three games.
The Rams described Jackson's current groin injury as a slight strain. What does that mean? It means Jackson will return when he's ready, and that could be Sunday or sometime later. Jackson sounds like he wants to be careful.
"We've been smart about it and I think we're going to continue to be smart about it," he said. "If I so happen to sit out Sunday, I’ve just got to make sure that I’m helping the young guys, make sure they know what they’re doing and be an extra set of eyes for them."
Jackson said he has not run since suffering the injury.
"We have done all pool exercises and rehabbing and non-weight bearing," Jackson said. "Really it’s not running. It’s the range of motion. That’s where my hiccup is and that’s where cutting and doing the things that you have to do on the football field is kind of scary."