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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : RAMS : Injuries, Loss Bring Changes on Defense

August 24, 1994|MIKE REILLEY

The Rams made changes in their starting defense Tuesday after injuries depleted their pass rush in a 29-20 exhibition loss to the Raiders Saturday night.

Coach Chuck Knox named rookie Brad Ottis, a second-round draft pick, as the starter at right defensive end for Thursday night's exhibition finale at San Diego.

Ottis replaces Gerald Robinson (sprained left ankle), who had started three games in place of Fred Stokes (sprained left knee).

Stokes returned to practice Monday, but Knox plans to hold him out Thursday.

"He hasn't had any live pass rush in awhile," Knox said.

Rookie free-agent D'Marco Farr of Washington appears to be in line for the starting right tackle spot in place of the injured Sean Gilbert (sprained left ankle).

"D'Marco has played well," Knox said. "He has some talent."

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Linebacker Henry Rolling, the starting left outside linebacker last season, also practiced with the first unit, replacing Joe Kelly, who had started there the past two weeks.

Linebacker coach Dick Selcer said he wanted to start Rolling for Thursday night's game against the Chargers, where Rolling played three seasons.

"Rolling started the first game against Green Bay, Kelly started the second game (against New England) and the third game against the Raiders where he came from," Selcer said. "They're both in open competition for it. We haven't cut-and-dried the starters yet.

"We wanted to give both of them an opportunity. And the natural thing to do, from a motivational standpoint, was to give them a chance to play against the teams they came from."

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Rookie safeties Keith Lyle and Toby Wright have yet to crack the starting lineup, but Lyle leads the team in special teams' tackles with five, followed by Wright with four. . . . The Rams have lost eight consecutive exhibition games, but have a 15-11 exhibition record against the Chargers.

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