Stewart Set for Return

Posted Dec 8, 2011

Although it amounted to only one missed game for him, Rams safety Darian Stewart found himself extremely frustrated as he sat out last week’s game at San Francisco with a concussion.

That’s a normal reaction for any player but for one who is enjoying a breakthrough season and seemingly improving every week, Stewart’s disappointment comes as no surprise.

“Oh, man,” an exasperated Stewart said. “Yeah, last week was tough for me. I’m a competitor so I just wanted to be out there. It definitely hurt but you have to go on to the next one.”

The good news for Stewart is that all signs point to the next one coming on Monday Night Football this week against Seattle. 

Stewart was officially cleared for contact drills on Tuesday afternoon and returned to practice Wednesday and Thursday.

“I felt good today,” Stewart said Thursday. “I am just on a day to day basis right now. I felt good so we’ll see how it goes up to Monday. I took the impact test on Tuesday. It went well so I’m doing well. More than likely I’ll be ready to go.”

Stewart suffered the concussion late in the game against Arizona on Nov. 27.  At the time, he didn’t believe it to be too serious and he passed the initial round of tests to get back to practice last week.

But Stewart couldn’t get over the final hurdle of the impact test late last week and was left as a pregame inactive.

The symptoms lingered a little but Stewart says those have started to dissipate in the past few days.

“Over these past couple of days, I felt pretty good,” Stewart said. “It’s one of those things you have to play safe. We’ll see how the rest of this week goes.”

Getting Stewart back should provide a boost for the Rams as he sits third on the team in tackles with 67 and has a sack, an interception, a forced fumble and eight passes defended.

Although he was upset to miss last week’s game, Stewart is excited to get back to business in primetime against the Seahawks. 

“(It’s) not a bad time at all,” Stewart said. “It’s primetime and I am looking forward to it. They got one from us last time so we all have got to be ready to go.”

BELL TO INJURED RESERVE: As expected, guard Jacob Bell became the newest addition to the Rams’ injured reserve list late Wednesday night with a MCL injury.

Bell is now the 14th player to have his season ended early by injury. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter when he got rolled up on in the back of the knee against San Francisco last Sunday.

The injury does not require surgery but is usually about a four week healing process. He had said Wednesday that he’d like to see where he is in a couple of weeks and possibly return.

But with the Rams in need of help at other spots – in this case quarterback – they had to free up some room. That left Bell for the move to injured reserve and the Rams claimed quarterback Kellen Clemens on waivers to take his spot.

“That’s what happened,” Spagnuolo said. “So then you weighed it. And then the other thing was it was going to be very, very close and tight to get Jacob for really the last game. Then you worry about a guy pushing it too much that he re-injures it.”

LEVOIR BOUNCES BACK: As the Rams have watched offensive lineman after offensive lineman fall by the wayside because of injury in the past few weeks – Bell is the latest – they finally got some positive news upfront this week.

Tackle Mark LeVoir appears to be bouncing back from a pectoral injury that kept him on the sidelines the past two weeks.

LeVoir has practiced each of the past two days. He was limited Thursday but seems poised to make a return to the starting lineup.

Before LeVoir was injured, he had been doing a solid job according to Spagnuolo.

“From what I remember, that’s going back a ways, but pretty solid,” Spagnuolo said. “I can’t recall exactly all the plays, but we got him here for a reason. He’s played in the league before. He’s played in this system before, so all of that is positive.”

INJURY REPORT: Another day, another practice without the use of the Rams’ top two quarterbacks.

Starter Sam Bradford (ankle) and backup A.J. Feeley (thumb) did not practice Thursday as the Rams continue to sort through their signal caller issues.

End Chris Long (ankle), running back Quinn Porter (abdominal strain) and defensive tackle Fred Robbins (back) also did not practice.

End Eugene Sims (shoulder) joined LeVoir as limited.

Spagnuolo said the Rams kept contact to a minimum as they continue to try to maintain what’s left of the healthy heading toward Monday night.