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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Was Steven Jackson benched or injured?

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On Sunday afternoon at the Edward Jones Dome, it looked as though St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher benched star running back Steven Jackson after he was flagged for a personal foul in the second quarter of the Rams game with the Washington Redskins.

According to the Fox broadcast of the game, which the Rams won 31-28, Jackson was not hurt in anyway, signaling that Fisher indeed benched Jackson.

But after the game, B.J. Rains of FoxSportsMidwest.com reported that Fisher told reporters that Jackson had a strained groin.
The controversy came on a play from the one yard line.  Jackson rushed the ball right up the middle and was stuffed by the Redskins defense.  The referees marked the ball just short of the goal line.  Jackson felt he had got in, and in frustration, spiked the ball.  The referees promptly flagged Jackson for 15 yards, which killed the drive.  Rather than having a fourth and one from the half yard line, the Rams had to settle for a field goal.

To his credit, it did appear that Jackson broke the plane of the goal line, but the replacement refs called him short.

Seventh round draft pick Darryl Richardson took over the lead running back duties and did well.  Isaiah Pead, another rookie, also saw time in the backfield during the second half while Steven Jackson remained on the sidelines.

Richardson ran the ball well, finishing the game with 15 carries for 83 yards.  But the rookie fumbled with just under three minutes to go in the game, giving the Washington Redskins a chance to tie or even win the game.  Luckily, Washington committed a silly personal foul of their own and the Rams defense held on for the win.

Not having veteran Steven Jackson on the field could have cost the Rams if he indeed was benched as many believed.  Luckily for Fisher, whether Jackson was bench or injured, it worked out int he end.

The post-game quotes should be interesting, but it certainly felt and looked like Steven Jackson was benched by Jeff Fisher and if Jackson is injured, Rams fans will want to hear the extent of the injury to see if he will be available next week.

Benched or injured, it really does not matter.  The Rams got a huge win, their first of the season, and their first with head coach Jeff Fisher.

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