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Bright Side: Everett Out Only 1 Game

December 23, 1987|CHRIS DUFRESNE | Times Staff Writer

Had this been a normal playoff season for the Rams, they might be calling the morning after quarterback Jim Everett's ankle injury Black Tuesday.

The bone chip in his right ankle, caused by Dallas Cowboy Jim Jeffcoat's swiping sack in the fourth quarter Monday night, is serious enough for any season.

Everett's injury would have kept him out six to eight weeks. But with one only game remaining and the Rams out of the playoffs, the news could have been worse.

"There's no pinning or surgery or any of those kinds of things involved," Coach John Robinson said Monday. "It's not a thing that will affect his career."

Further X-rays taken Tuesday revealed a chip of a bone in the right ankle. Everett will wear a cast for three weeks and then begin rehabilitation.

"He shouldn't have any trouble," Ram trainer Jim Anderson said.

Anderson said Everett wanted to return to the game after the injury but coaches and team doctors ruled against it.

"He couldn't have gone back in," Anderson said. "On his first drop back he would have probably fallen on his face because it was the foot he plants on.'

Robinson said he did not take offense to Jeffcoat's celebration after making the sack on Everett.

"I don't think it was an expression of glee," Robinson said. "It was more like he got a sack and that's good. I'm out there on the field with injuries, and everyone has a bad look on their face when a guy's hurt. Sure, there may be one jerk out there, but I don't think anyone wants to see the other guy hurt."

Robinson also said he is not in favor of any more rules protecting quarterbacks. He considers Everett and any other National Football League quarterback fair game.

"More quarterbacks are running," Robinson said. "We're going to a more athletic quarterback, and he's putting himself in more jeopardy now than before. I don't think you can change the game to suit the style of play. Rules can't continue to be adjusted to make that position different than other positions. I think there's enough protection for the quarterback."

So was that really cornerback LeRoy Irvin's final game at Anaheim Stadium Monday night? Is Irvin really on his way out of town?

Irvin says yes. Robinson says no. He says the Rams and Irvin can work it out. "I have every expectation that it will," Robinson said. "I think there's a positive atmosphere from our standpoint. At least, initial conversation has started with his agent (Ernie Wright). I would be very hopeful that something will happen. We also plan not to do it in the press. We're not going to have an interpreter or any of those things. But there's already been two conversations with his agent."

Irvin, unhappy with a new two-year contract he signed last March, had been a constant source of irritation to Robinson all through training camp and well into November. Robinson finally served Irvin a one-game suspension on Nov. 4 for what he called "conduct detrimental to the team."

Irvin missed the game against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 8 but returned to rave reviews a week later against the St. Louis Cardinals. Robinson has said Irvin has played at Pro Bowl caliber since.

Robinson said he's looked over and over at the tape of Everson Walls controversial third-quarter interception and still couldn't tell whether Walls had kept both feet in bounds.

The interception was key in that it led directly to the 27-yard scoring pass, Steve Pelluer to Doug Cosbie, that put the Cowboys ahead by 19 points at 26-7.

"I looked at it this morning and ran it back," Robinson said of the play. "One guy said he didn't get it down and another guy said he did."

Robinson said the NFL's instant replay system is much improved.

"I like it better this year because they're not using it as much," Robinson said. "I think it's finding its niche. The people upstairs are doing a far better job with it. It's got to be undisputable. It seems they are assuming the roles of helpers instead of an almost God-like quality that they had before, when you had to look skyward to see what the final judgment was."

Ram Notes

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