The Rams held their breaths Monday on the fate of three starters injured in Sunday's victory over the New York Giants. They got good news on all of them after magnetic-resonance imaging tests were performed.
Right tackle Jackie Slater (right shoulder), linebacker Fred Strickland (left knee) and defensive tackle Alvin Wright (right shoulder) suffered no serious damage Sunday, and Coach John Robinson said all three would miss a maximum of three weeks. The Rams feared one or more of them would be out much longer.
"Great news," Robinson said Monday afternoon. "Any one of the three could've been bad."
Slater was hurt in the first half when he fell on the artificial surface at Giants Stadium. The preliminary diagnosis was a partial tear in the shoulder. Any sort of tear in Slater's rotator cuff probably would have sidelined him the rest of the season. But after the MRI, the Rams have downgraded the injury to a bruise.
Strickland, who has missed time frequently in his three-year career because of various injuries, suffered a strained knee with no major cartilage damage.
Wright wrenched his shoulder in the third quarter, but the MRI revealed it was only a sprain, not a tear.
Robinson said that of the three, Wright had the best chance to make it back before three weeks.
But Robinson conceded the Rams probably would have to add at least one new player today--a linebacker or a defensive tackle or both--to help cover for the banged-up trio.
"We're putting those (options) on a menu and (will) make the decisions tomorrow," Robinson said.
If any players are added, it's probable that back-up middle linebacker Frank Stams, who was deactivated for the first two games because of his sore left leg that will not heal, will be placed on injured reserve.