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Steven Jackson: Ultimate Warrior

Last Sunday, the Washington Redskins treated Steven Jackson’s leg like a wishbone and Steven Jackson had to leave the game in the 2nd quarter with an injured groin muscle.  The Rams went on to win without Jackson, but they were unsure how long he would be out of the lineup.  On Monday after the Redskins game, Jackson went in for an MRI and came out with good news that the tear in his groin was not serious.  The Rams still gave no indication when Jackson would play next.  He did not practice all week, only planning on testing out the groin in pregame warmups.

The Rams looked like they were going to have to rely on their backup running back committee against the Seahawks.  Kenneth Darby played well in a half against Washington, but the prospect of playing a whole game without their star made the Rams and their fans nervous to say the least.  However, more overwhelmingly was the opinion that Jackson should not risk further injury to his groin by pushing himself against the Seattle Seahawks.

Jackson warmed up and the announcements came quickly that Jackson would be active for the game and start for the Rams, but the Rams did not know how much he would play.  Most people assumed Jackson would try out his groin in the first quarter and possibly play sparingly in the rest of the game.

Jackson did nothing of the sort, starting and playing the bulk of the plays for the St. Louis Rams offense even though he indicated he would have a tough time making any “football moves”.  Jackson stepped gingerly and did not have his usual power or elusiveness, but he was an inspirational leader for the Rams as he piled up 70 yards rushing and 54 yards receiving including a 49 yard catch and run on a screen pass.  Jackson played hurt, was not even close to 100% and was still effective for a Rams offense that asked a lot of him and his injured groin.  He was cutting in the open field on his groin, dodging tackles and accelerating as best he could even though he was not taking his full strides in the open field.  Steven Jackson also passed his mentor, Marshall Faulk on the Rams career rushing list, putting him in 2nd place behind Eric Dickerson on the club’s all-time rushing list.  And most importantly, Jackson came out from the game with no further injury to his groin.

We said it last season in the Rams only victory of the season, but it bares repeating, we are lucky to watch Steven Jackson every week.  He’s a leader for the Rams and on Sunday, he lead by example as he did not practice all week, barely was able to warm up and lead the Rams offense to a huge victory over the Seattle Seahawks.  This game meant a lot to Steven Jackson and it showed.  Jackson has played in a lot of losses against the Seahawks, as he has not beat them in the last 10 tries and he was not going to let the Rams lose in the 11th game.  Steven Jackson is the Rams Ultimate Warrior and he cannot receive as much praise as he should for his effort this week.

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