You can all go ahead and let it out now, ladies. JL55 is going to be just fine.
Everybody can exhale and unclench now, hopefully. James Laurinaitis
doesn't look likely to miss significant time with the pectoral injury we wrote about yesterday
. He is currently listed officially as questionable, and is described as day-to-day. While that certainly isn't ideal, it is a far, far better prognosis than what I'm sure plenty of Rams' fans were bracing for.
I have to admit, I'm a little surprised to hear the injury really is fairly minor in scope. I'm so conditioned to expect the very worst when it comes to the Rams (2007-2009 will do that to a person), that I was fully prepared mentally to hear Laurinaitis would be out until midseason at the earliest. Thankfully, the Gods of Football (who are only moderately less bastardly than the Gods of Baseball), have seen fit to smile on the Rams' linebacker.
The only concern I still have now is whether the Rams will be able to give Laurinaitis the proper time to recover so as to avoid any sort of re-injury. It's one of the very real risks of this abbreviated preseason: with so little offseason work done by players and team both, virtually all the preparatory work has to be done in an extremely condensed period of time.
Luckily, the Rams' defense is going through the same makeover the offense is; the system in 2011 is, so far as I know, the same one the team ran in 2010. Neither Laurinaitis nor any of his compatriots will have to learn a substantial amount of new information (aside from incoming rookies, that is), which should lessen the pressure on team and player to get back on the field as soon as possible.
Still, this is an extraordinarily competitive, driven player, one who has spoken in the past of his pride at being on the field for every game since he entered the organization. Someone on the Rams' coaching staff is going to need to watch him like a hawk and try to limit him at least a little in order to make sure he doesn't injure himself further. The last thing the Rams need is for a minor issue like this to turn into an ongoing, nagging thing because the player tried to push through the initial injury.
For now, though, I think we can all agree it's good just to hear Laurinaitis should be back on the field and ready to go in the near future. If this team is going anywhere in 2011 they're going to need their defensive heart beating strong.