Steven Jackson: St. Louis Rams RB Must Get Healthy to Make an Impact

Alex KayCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 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

Steven Jackson has been wrestling through injuries for much of his career. The St. Louis Rams RB has most recently been plagued with a strained groin, which kept him out of practice throughout Week 3, although he was able to suit up and play on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

However, S-Jax wasn’t able to make much of an impact in the contest, rushing for just 29 yards on 11 carries and catching two passes for a total of five yards.

Because of these nagging injuries, Jackson has been able to record a total of 140 yards on 41 attempts via the ground and catch six passes for 36 yards over the course of three games.

That isn’t what the Rams expected from their star running back at the start of the season, and it’s become clear that he’s going to need to get healthy in order to start producing at a high level.

At age 29, Jackson is one of the oldest feature backs in the NFL, and many are starting to wonder if he is past his prime.

It’s a valid concern, considering the former first-round pick has played in 118 games, ran 2,179 times for 9,233 yards and caught 375 passes for another 3,039 yards.

Jackson is simply not living up to the high standards that he set for himself during his brilliant nine-year career, and the best thing that a RB his age can do is get healthy.

Because of his mileage, S-Jax is no longer going to be able to recover from these minor injuries and be 100 percent in time for games. He’s been able to skip practice throughout his career and still show up on Sunday, but that is no longer the case.

If the Rams want to start making an improvement and get some production out of their backfield, they would be wise to rest Jackson until he is healthy enough to significantly contribute.

Unfortunately, their bye isn’t until Week 9, so it’s going to be up to coach Jeff Fisher to decide how to manage Jackson’s minutes and which weeks to give the star RB off.

The answer obviously isn’t to keep playing him, as the poor results the team has been getting make the argument against keeping Jackson active.