James Laurinaitis Injury: Updates on Rams Star's Ankle and Return

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 2, 2014

AP Images

Updates from Sunday, Sept. 7

Myles Simmons of StLouisRams.com confirmed that James Laurinaitis is active for Sunday's game:

Myles Simmons @MylesASimmons

#RamsInactives: C. Keenum, T. Mason, M. Alexander, B Jones, A. Bayer, E. Westbrooks. On defense, Gaines starting at CB for Johnson.

Updates from Monday, Aug. 25

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on James Laurinaitis' ankle:

Original Text

Expectations are rising for the St. Louis Rams thanks to a stout defense loaded with young talent. One of their key players, linebacker James Laurinaitis, is dealing with an ankle injury that the coaching staff will be keeping a close eye on.

According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Laurinaitis was wearing a walking boot during the team's FanFest, but Thomas noted the injury doesn't appear to be serious:

Laurinaitis injured the ankle July 31 when it was stepped on during practice, according to a separate report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from Thomas, though head coach Jeff Fisher didn't have an update:

Ultra-durable linebacker James Laurinaitis left practice early after getting his foot stepped on. It didn't appear serious.

'I don’t know anything about it right now,' Fisher said. 'He got stepped on. We'll have to check it out.'

According to Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com, the Rams are going to be conservative when it comes to bringing Laurinaitis along due to the nature of the injury:

Laurinaitis got stepped on Thursday night and though it didn't appear to be too serious, the Rams clearly aren't going to push him right now to make it worse. It's worth noting that this is the time of camp when soft tissue injuries begin to pop up.

The 27-year-old linebacker is coming off his best all-around season as a pro in 2013. He recorded 85 total tackles, tied a career-high with two interceptions and set new career-highs in sacks (3.5), passes defended (eight) and fumble recoveries (two).

Playing alongside defensive studs Robert Quinn and Chris Long, Laurinaitis gives the Rams a third star player to build around. That trio played a significant role in the team winning seven games last year and potentially taking another step forward in 2014.

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