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Three Rams starters must pass concussion protocol

2013-11-26T04:10:00Z 2015-03-10T17:50:09Z Three Rams starters must pass concussion protocolBy Jim Thomas jthomas@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8197 stltoday.com

Three Rams starters — running back Zac Stacy, cornerback Trumaine Johnson and left guard Chris Williams — left Sunday’s game against Chicago and did not return because of a blow to the head and a possible concussion.

As a result all three will be subject to the NFL’s concussion protocol and if they are cleared to play this coming Sunday against San Francisco, it won’t happen until the end of the week.

The protocol consists of monitoring symptoms by team doctors and medical trainers, undergoing neuro-psychological tests, and then increased physical activity leading to a full practice. Lastly, a team doctor and an unaffiliated concussion expert must sign off that the player is OK to return to game action.

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“We have a series of things that we do today, tomorrow, and Wednesday — and right now everybody’s doing fine,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Monday. “Everybody seemed to be feeling pretty well.”

LONG DAY

When asked how much fun he had in the Rams’ victory Sunday, defensive end Chris Long gave a mixed reply.

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“It (stunk),” Long replied. “It was great to win the game, and that’s the first thing. But if what you’re referring to is my brother being on the field with me — it (stunk). Nobody wants to do that. It’s a blessing that we’re both here. But this week was hell.”

Long is one of those players who makes himself available to the media on basically every day that the team practices. But it was clear he was growing weary last week of question after question about facing his brother Kyle Long, the Bears’ starting right guard.

“You all are doing your jobs,” he said. “That’s a slam-dunk story. But at the same time, I’m trying to be a productive part of this football team to help us win and not create a distraction. So it’s a tightrope you wanna walk.

“I mean, you want to talk about it, but at the same time you want everybody to know how focused you are about just beating the Bears. I did my job (Sunday) and we came out with a win, so I’m happy with that.”

As for communication with his brother, Chris said he talked to Kyle every night during the practice week “like we normally would.” He spent some time with Kyle on Saturday night at the Bears’ team hotel as well.

“Then I talked to him before the game,” Long said. “We can separate pre-whistle to post-whistle.”

TURKEY TIME

For the 19th consecutive year, Rams players have teamed with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis and Schnucks markets to provide Thanksgiving meals to 2,000 families in need.

Select members of the linebacker, wide receiver, and offensive line units will distribute turkeys and fixings to pre-identified individuals today at Urban League centers in St. Louis, St. Louis County and East St. Louis.

In addition, William Hayes, Long and other Rams defensive linemen will make home deliveries today in the Jennings area.

Rams players contributed $28,765 to the Urban League’s Thanksgiving Project and other hunger relief effort.

PACKED HOUSe

Thanks to thousands of Bears fans, the Rams had a rare sellout crowd of 66,024 on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.

It was the largest home crowd since 66,191 watched rookie head coach Scott Linehan’s Rams squad lose to Kansas City 31-17 on Nov. 5, 2006.

RAM-BLINGS

According to Elias Sports, Tavon Austin is only the fourth player since 1960 with rushing, receiving, and punt returns touchdowns of 60 yards-plus in the same season.

  • Before Sunday, the last time the Rams scored 21 points in the opening quarter, and scored on their first three series, was Oct. 19, 2008 against Dallas. That 34-14 triumph came in Jim Haslett’s second game as interim coach in place of the fired Linehan.
  • Until Sunday the Rams hadn’t beaten Chicago since their last divisional championship season — 2003 — with a 23-21 victory at Soldier Field.

Follow Jim Thomas on twitter @jthom1

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