Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

During Weekend off, Many Rams Wave Bye

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

During Weekend off, Many Rams Wave Bye

Article excerpt

The jailbreak began shortly before 4 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. After a vigorous round of wind sprints, Rams coach Rich Brooks gathered his players for a few words and then dismissed them for a long weekend. A weekend O-F-F.

The race was on. Players poured off the Mathews-Dickey Boys' Club practice fields as if the turf was suddenly contaminated with a life-threatening pollutant.

Running back Ron Wolfley never ran so fast. Defensive end Kevin Carter politely declined an interview request. "My plane's leaving at 5:15 p.m.," he said.

Rookie offensive lineman Jesse James sped away to Memphis, where his girlfriend lives. Offensive tackle Jackie Slater was off to Orange County to see his wife and two sons for the first time in six weeks.

Ah, the wonders of the bye week. For the first time since reporting to training camp in mid-July, Rams players have more than one day off. They do not have to return to work until Monday morning. "I basically told them to have a good time off," Brooks said. "Get their minds free and their bodies freshened up."

But not too good of a time.

"I told a few of the guys I didn't want them coming back any heavier than they left," Brooks said. "I told them when they come back Monday, come back with the dial turned up. We can't afford to spend a day or two getting back into the swing of things. It has to be `switch-on.' "

Especially with a Thursday night game next week against the Atlanta Falcons at Busch Stadium.

"The bye week is good for the body," cornerback Todd Lyght said. "Running around, slamming into other people for months at a time, just takes a toll. You'd be amazed what a few days off will do for your body."

Lyght has a minor shin bruise.

Linebacker Cedric Figaro has a couple of sore knees. He played in the World League, so he's had only a couple of weeks off since February.

Wolfley has tendinitis in his Achilles' area. Linebacker Carlos Jenkins has a sore foot. "It's like fighting in a bunch of heavyweight fights," Jenkins said. "Eventually your back's going to get tight, your shoulders sore from hitting. This break's going to benefit everybody."

The weekend agenda? …

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