Rams running back Steven Jackson was fully aware of the trade rumors circulating during the last few days prior to the NFL trade deadline.
On Thursday, after the trade deadline had passed and Jackson knew that he was still going to be wearing the gold and blue, Jackson addressed the media, admitting that he knew about the trade rumors.
“I was very aware of the trade speculation and what was going on,” Jackson said (via St Louis Post Dispatch).
While Jackson knew about the trade rumors, he also knows that the NFL is about business, and the three-time Pro Bowl running back is ready to get back to work and finish the season strong for the Rams.
"I’m not offended by it, nor am I going to be distracted by it," Jackson said. "I’m ready to go into this bye week, get away for the weekend, but come back ready to finish strong these next eight games.”
Jackson is the franchise's all-time leading rusher, running for 9,453 yards and 53 touchdowns during his eight seasons in St. Louis. Jackson was often the lead back and at times the only option to run the ball.
Now with the emergence of seventh-round draft pick Daryl Richardson, the duo could combine for a lethal "thunder and lightning" combination the rest of the way.
Jackson and Richardson figure to split carries the rest of the season, although fans should not be surprised to see Richardson take more of the reigns on first and second down as the feature back while Jackson may shift more into a third-down back role.
Many times, third-down backs are quick and shifty. At this stage in his career, Jackson is neither, but he can still catch the ball out of the backfield and can also move the chains in tough, short-yardage situations.
Whatever role Jackson plays in the offense, the Rams will need him to play well and lead this young team into the second half of the season as the franchise looks to continue to recover from the horrible football played in St. Louis over the past five years.