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Rams Place Green, Harris on Waivers

August 21, 1986|RICH ROBERTS | Times Staff Writer

Injuries have apparently ended the football careers of Gary Green and Eric Harris as the Rams continue to scramble on defense.

The Rams said they had waived Green and Harris, noting that each failed to pass the team's physical examination.

"They aren't going to play football anymore," Robinson said.

Green, a four-time Pro Bowl cornerback, reported to training camp this summer with a bulging disk in his neck, and his condition has not improved. Harris, who played cornerback and safety, has been unable to play since injuring his lower back in the eighth game last season.

Both came to the Rams in trades with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Rams' action represents the first step for Green toward collecting on a policy insuring the last two years of his contract, which calls for $350,000 this year and $400,000 in 1987.

With linebacker Jim Collins' future also in doubt, the Rams moved George Andrews to his inside job Wednesday, but he tried it and didn't like it.

Collins injured a nerve in his left shoulder in the Pro Bowl last January. As a result, the deltoid muscle has atrophied, and he is not expected to return soon.

Andrews started at right outside linebacker for 47 consecutive games until suffering knee injuries that required major surgery the last two years--the left knee in '84, the right in '85.

Mike Wilcher replaced him last season. Coach John Robinson hoped that Andrews, 30, might fill a need inside rather than be wasted on the bench.

But after practicing inside for the first time Wednesday, Andrews approached defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur.

"I already told him I didn't think it was gonna work out," Andrews said as he left the field. "I've played outside for so long, then coming back after two years of not playing and having the pressure of not knowing what you're doing is too much."

Mark Jerue, never a starter in three previous seasons with the New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts and Rams, has been playing Collins' inside position alongside 31-year-old Carl Ekern, and there are no experienced backups.

Ekern calls the defensive signals, but Jerue has done it when Ekern was not on the field.

Shurmur said he is prepared to open the season with Jerue.

"We're not at all worried about that," Shurmur said. "He's just fine and getting better every day. He's improved his pass coverage a lot. The 'backers have two interceptions (in the two practice games) and he's got both of 'em."

Ram Notes

A pulled abdominal muscle Wednesday forced quarterback Steve Bartkowski to miss his first practice since joining the Rams. Bartkowski, who completed 11 of 15 passes for 2 touchdowns in Monday night's exhibition victory over the San Francisco 49ers, reported back to practice but after a few minutes removed his helmet, jersey and shoulder pads and watched the rest. . . . There were no surprises when the Rams finally announced Wednesday the players they cut Tuesday to reduce their roster to the NFL maximum of 60. Released were tight end James McDonald, USC; wide receiver David Groman, Northwestern; kicker Steve Jordan, USC; running back John Kamana, USC; nose tackle Chris Pacheco, Fresno State; safety Mark Pembrook, Cal State Fullerton; wide receiver Austin Shanks, San Diego State; tackle Mike Shiner, Notre Dame; running back William Stone, Adams State, and running back Lynn Williams, Kansas. McDonald, a fourth-year pro who played only basketball at USC, also was cut last year by the Rams. He signed with the Detroit Lions, was cut in mid-season and signed back on with the Rams.

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