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RAM NOTEBOOK : Loss of Gilbert Proves to Be Costly


GREEN BAY, Wis. — When defensive tackle Sean Gilbert went down with a bruised left shoulder on the second series of the Rams' 24-17 loss to Green Bay on Sunday, the Rams' pass rush went with him.

Gilbert, a Pro Bowl tackle and the key to the Rams' pass rush, missed practice all week with ankle and shoulder problems, and didn't even make it through the first quarter Sunday. He watched the second half from the sidelines.

Defensive tackle Jimmie Jones said the Rams couldn't recover from the loss of Gilbert. They produced only two sacks--one by Joe Kelly on a linebacker blitz and another by defensive end Gerald Robinson.

"When Sean went down you have to be able to suck it up and keep applying pressure inside," Jones said. "Sometimes we did, but sometimes we didn't.

"The momentum swung all the way, but we're supposed to be able to go out there and overcome something like that. And we started to overcome it, but then different things went wrong in different situations."

Rookie free agent D'Marco Farr replaced Gilbert. Farr batted down a Brett Favre pass and finished with one tackle.


Add injuries: Center Bern Brostek re-sprained his right ankle with 50 seconds left in the third quarter and had to be helped off the field. Brostek had sprained both ankles in last week's 8-5 loss to Atlanta.

Left guard Tom Newberry replaced Brostek at center and allowed Chuck Belin, a former Wisconsin standout, to play the final quarter at left guard.


Last add, injuries: Ram quarterback Chris Chandler, who didn't practice all week because of a sprained left ankle, was inactive for Sunday's game and Jamie Martin was the No. 3 quarterback behind Chris Miller and Tommy Maddox. Chandler's ankle had improved late in the week and Ram Coach Chuck Knox on Friday didn't rule out using Chandler for Sunday's game.


Wrong turn: Green Bay cornerback Lenny McGill claimed his innocence after he was called for pass interference while trying to cover Flipper Anderson. The penalty cost the Packers 39 yards and gave the Rams a first down at the Green Bay 10.

"We made some contact downfield," McGill said, "but it wasn't enough for pass interference."

McGill made up for the mistake later in the drive when he intercepted a Miller pass in the corner of the end zone. Miller threw it right to McGill when Anderson ran the wrong route, cutting to the inside instead of to the corner.

"I didn't have to worry about Flipper because George (Teague) gave me help on the inside route," McGill said. "I just watched Miller's eyes and read him. He threw it right to where he was looking."


The unforgiven: Favre was booed loudly by Packer fans after his wobbling pass was intercepted by Darryl Henley, setting up the Rams' first touchdown. Favre said the ball slipped.

"I probably won't sleep tonight thinking about that because I had him (receiver Robert Brooks) open," Favre said.

Was he upset by the boos?

"Just like the cheers, you kind of take it with a grain of salt," said Favre, who completed 25 of 41 passes for 222 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Sharpe in the third quarter.

"I'm sure it won't be the last time I hear them too."


Ram linebacker Joe Kelly's second-quarter sack was his first since 1989. . . . Cornerback Darryl Henley's interception, which set up the Rams' first touchdown, was his first since the last game of the 1992 season, against Atlanta.

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