Steven Jackson: Groin Injury Won't Keep RB from Being No. 1 Fantasy Option

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 16: Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams rushes against the Washington Redskins t the Edward Jones Dome on September 16, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson has only played a full, 16-game regular season twice in his nine-year career, but that's only kept him from reaching the 1,000-yard plateau once.

That was when he was a rookie in 2004, and Marshall Faulk was still in town.

Jackson doesn't run pretty, but he runs hard. The groin injury he suffered in the Rams win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday will not make you regret having him as your No. 1 fantasy ball-carrier.

Jackson's status against Chicago in Week 3 is uncertain. He told St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Jim Thomas that he would try to play, but that's not just up to him.

Even if he can't play, don't panic. It might hurt you this week, depending on how the rest of your roster shapes up, but his long-term value isn't any less than it was before.

Jackson's worst statistical season (besides his rookie year) came in 2007. He only played in 12 games—carrying the ball 237 times for 1,002 yards and five touchdowns. He also caught 38 passes.

That's impressive, when you consider the four games he missed. Injuries have kept Jackson from becoming the league's best ball-carrier, but he's still the Rams' No. 1 option even when he misses a few contests. 

Jackson has more potential this year than he did last year, and he still cleared the 1,000-yard mark in 15 games. Sam Bradford's return takes some of the pressure off of him, allowing the passing attack to accept more responsibility.

So far this year, St. Louis has given him the ball 30 times. He missed the second half of Sunday's game, so that number could have been even higher. Bradford's return has opened up the offense slightly, but he's still someone they will lean on.

The Rams are a better team, and this injury doesn't sound like much. Running backs with No. 1-type talent and unquestioned job security don't grow on trees, and Jackson has proven his resiliency throughout his career.

No one wants to see an early-round pick get banged up this early, but don't panic. Jackson will still be exactly what you expected him to be when you selected him.