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6th rounder playing like an All-Pro for Rams

12:48 PM, Oct 1, 2012   |    comments
St. Louis Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein (4) kicks a 48 yard field goal against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE
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(Inside the Huddle) -- The Rams had no qualms when they released kicker Josh Brown in April shortly after selecting kicker Greg Zuerlein in the sixth round of the draft. Zuerlein has been nothing short of sensational, making his first 12 field-goal attempts as a pro, including eight from 40 yards or more and three from 50 yards or more. In Sunday's win over Seattle, Zuerlein accounted for 13 of the Rams' 19 points, with four field goals. He twice broke the previous team record of 57 with a 58-yarder and then one from 60 yards.

Talking about the decision to try the 60-yarder, Coach Jeff Fisher said, "I was on the headsets and I said, 'Field goal,' and somebody said 'Field goal?' I said, 'Yeah, it's only 60. It's well within his range.'"

BY THE NUMBERS: Cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Bradley Fletcher had interceptions Sunday to give the team's corners six in four games. Last season, the team's cornerbacks had five interceptions all season.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

PLAYER NOTES

-T Joe Barksdale was surprisingly active for Sunday's game after having one practice with the team Friday. Barksdale was claimed on waivers from the Raiders on Thursday and was the only true backup tackle on the roster.

-T Ty Nsekhe, who was waived Thursday and cleared waivers Friday, was at the game and is expected to be signed to the team's practice squad.

-RB Isaiah Pead, a second-round draft pick, was inactive for Sunday's game, partly because the Rams dressed three backup offensive linemen, one more than usual.

-WR Brian Quick, who was inactive the week before against Chicago, had a good week of practice and was active against the Seahawks. He had the first reception of his career, a 19-yard catch on third-and-10 that led to the Rams' only touchdown of the game. He would have had another reception, but was unable to get both feet down inbounds.

-WR Steve Smith, who had five receptions for 70 yards through the first three games, was inactive for Sunday's game against Seattle.

-DT Jermelle Cudjo, who had been starting with Michael Brockers sidelined by an ankle injury, was inactive against the Seahawks as Brockers played his first regular-season game.

-P Johnny Hekker threw a 2-yard touchdown pass on a fake field goal to a wide-open Danny Amendola for the Rams' only touchdown against Seattle. QB Sam Bradford, asked if he has given Hekker any passing tips, said, "No, he throws it pretty good. I've watched him play catch before practice, watched him throw it some. He didn't really need any tips. He's a natural." Hekker was a quarterback in high school.

INJURY IMPACT

-DT Michael Brockers started in his first regular-season game after missing the first three games with a high ankle sprain suffered in the Aug. 30 final preseason game. He left the game in the first quarter when he slightly aggravated the ankle, but came back and played. Coach Jeff Fisher said Brockers is "fine," but he will watched closely this week with the quick turnaround for Thursday's game against Arizona.

-DE Eugene Sims was active early in the game, but then left with a head injury that coach Jeff Fisher described as a mild concussion. Fisher said Sims will be "evaluated," with the question whether he can be cleared in time to play Thursday against Arizona.

 

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