Rams Might Play Without Starters

Friday, October 20th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ST. LOUIS (AP) — There's a good chance the St. Louis Rams will risk their unbeaten record in Kansas City on Sunday without two starters on the offensive line and a third out of position.

Tackle Ryan Tucker (ankle) and guard Adam Timmerman (knee) have yet to practice this week. Tucker is listed as questionable, Timmerman probable.

``I'm not real encouraged by either one of them right now,'' coach Mike Martz said Thursday.

If they can't go, center Andy McCollum would move to guard. His backup, Steve Everitt, would start at center. Second-year player Cameron Spikes would start in place of Tucker at tackle.

Martz didn't think the switches would slow down the Rams' No. 1-ranked offense, which is averaging 509 yards and 43 points per game.

``As long as they're prepared and they're confident, they'll play well,'' Martz said. ``The experience factor is a little bit lacking with Cameron but he's confident and he's prepared well and he'll do all right.''

Tucker has made rapid progress after being injured in last week's 45-29 victory over Atlanta. He ran in the pool on Wednesday, did some running on the sideline wearing an air cast on his left ankle on Thursday and might participate in limited workouts on Friday.

``It's amazing how good it feels, actually,'' Tucker said. ``I thought I was finished when it happened, it hurt so bad.''

Timmerman took a helmet in the knee near the end of last week's victory over the Falcons. He has been listed as probable.

Running back Marshall Faulk also hasn't practiced yet this week due to a chronic sore knee, but definitely will play whether or not he's on the field for a snap during practice this week.

Martz noted that Faulk ran for 154 yards and caught five passes for 56 yards last year at New Orleans in Week 13 after missing the whole week of practice.

Faulk's backup, first-round draft pick Trung Canidate, has practiced at full speed the last two days and could return after missing four weeks with a foot injury.