Steven Jackson Injury: 3 Rams Who Need to Step Up in Place of Injured RB

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2011

Steven Jackson Injury: 3 Rams Who Need to Step Up in Place of Injured RB

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    The news that Steven Jackson will miss the New York Giants game next week for the St. Louis Rams is disappointing, but not devastating news.

    In the past, losing Jackson would have essentially ended the team's chances at making the playoffs even in the NFC West because he was the whole of their offense.

    He may remain the focal point of the offense, but he is no longer doing a solo job in St. Louis.

    Here are three Rams that need to step up next week.

Steve Spagnuolo

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    In a sense, this slide represents the whole of the Rams' defense.

    The New York Giants is a franchise that the Rams' head coach should know a lot about considering he was the defensive coordinator there recently.

    Spagnuolo will be looking to get to Eli Manning like the Redskins did last week and force turnovers in order to aid the offense.

    Chris Long and James Hall will be looking to take advantage of the Giants' questionable offensive line that is still looking to establish itself after being revamped in the offseason. The Rams did well to get into the backfield against the Eagles last week, but were hurt by Michael Vick's mobility; that problem shouldn't repeat itself this week.

    Ron Bartell's struggles with a neck injury should be softened with the news that Hakeem Nicks is similiarly suffering ahead of the matchup. The Rams have a very good defense, and with Spagnuolo's added input, they could dominate the Giants next week.

Josh McDaniels

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    McDaniels understood the importance of Steven Jackson when he arrived in St. Louis, but he also knew that the main reason he was hired was for the team's young stud quarterback in Sam Bradford.

    Bradford should be able to play next week despite a finger injury against the Eagles, and McDaniels will need to find ways to put him in the best position to succeed now that they don't have the running game to negate the Giants' pass rush.

    Brandon Gibson had a huge day against Nnamdi Asomugha last week even if it doesn't show on the statistics sheet, while Mike Sims-Walker should be better and Danario Alexander is still there as a deep threat. McDaniels has the weapons to take advantage of the depleted Giants defense, but he needs to make the offense work now without a major piece.

Carnell Williams

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    Carnell Williams has no hope of completely replacing Steven Jackson but he can be more than impressive in relief of the franchise's all-time leading rusher.

    Williams is a former starter whose career was under threat after two knee injuries a few years ago. Last year he proved his durability and he has the capability to carry the ball 30 times in a game if needed. His upper body strength is not on Jackson's level, but he is a punishing runner that can wear down the Giants' defense.

    Obviously, he will be looked to to set the tone early for the Rams as they try to make the Giants' pass rushers hesitate, but his receiving ability out of the backfield and his ability as a runner could see him have a big game with his chance on Monday Night Football.