Sunday, September 23, 2012
Setting expectations for Steven Jackson
By Mike Sando
The St. Louis Rams have announced Steven Jackson as their starting running back Sunday despite a groin injury.
I'm guessing we'll still see rookie Daryl Richardson get chances to run the ball in this game against the Chicago Bears. Jackson missed practice during the week. If the Rams can move the ball without him, they presumably will.
This will mark the second time since 2008 that Jackson has played in a game after the team listed him as questionable with a groin injury, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The other time, Jackson carried 22 times for 70 yards (3.2 per carry) during a 20-3 victory over Seattle in 2010.
Knowshon Moreno and Michael Turner are the only other backs since 2010 to carry the ball 10-plus times after their teams listed them as questionable with groin injuries. Moreno has 21 carries for 90 yards (4.3 average) in those situations. Turner has 14 carries for 44 yards (3.1 average). Beanie Wells has six carries for 19 yards when listed that way.
Veteran running backs are often more valuable than rookies in pass protection, particularly against blitzes. Chicago has rushed five or more defenders only 22.7 percent of the time, however. That is the sixth-lowest total in the NFL through Week 2.
The Rams (17.9 percent) and San Francisco 49ers (22.4) have also played defense without sending added pressure with much frequency.