Steven Domingos, a free agent who played semi-pro ball with the Fresno Bandits in 1991 and was signed so late he didn't even rate a mention in the Rams' training camp information guide, has emerged as a candidate to make the team as punter.
Coach Chuck Knox said there was no real significance attached to Domingos' role as a starter Saturday against the Raiders, but was quick to note the former San Francisco State player "hit the ball well."
Domingos, who averaged 45.6 yards per punt with the Bandits last season, had a 51-yarder in the first exhibition against Seattle and a 50-yarder against the Raiders.
"At first, Coach Knox was reluctant to sign me because I didn't have any experience," Domingos said. "The punt in Seattle kind of made my night. Now, I guess I just have to keep waiting and find out. I feel pretty good about my kicking and I'm confident in myself, but it's hard to know what they're thinking."
The Rams have two experienced punters--Barry Helton and Don Bracken--on the roster, but Helton, who averaged 41.2 yards per punt last season, has been sidelined with a leg injury and Bracken, who was released by the Packers before the 1991 season, has averaged 33.5 yards on two punts in the preseason.
Asked to sum up the situation at punter, Knox said, "It's kind of muddled, to be honest about it."
Asked if he was actively pursuing a trade for a running back, Knox said: "Everything is relative. What is active? Are we calling how many times a day? We haven't been going out and shopping around. If somebody calls, we'll check it out, but I don't get involved until it's a serious inquiry, something concrete. There's all kinds of speculation, but I haven't talked to anybody." . . . First-round draft pick Sean Gilbert (ankle), last year's top selection Todd Lyght (hamstring), running back Cleveland Gary (hamstring) and linebacker Frank Stams (leg), who have all been nursing nagging injuries, participated in Monday's no-pad practice.