When the season started, the Rams' offensive line — left to right — went like this: Orlando Pace, Richie Incognito, Andy McCollum, Adam Timmerman, Alex Barron.
Stability has not been a word to describe the line, from center to left tackle. McCollum (knee) was lost for the season in the opener, prompting Incognito to move to center with former Viking Todd Steussie (normally a tackle) moving in at left guard.
Steussie slid to left tackle and another former Viking, Adam Goldberg, played left guard when Pace went out at the end of the first half in Week 2 against the 49ers, and then when Pace missed a Week 4 game against Detroit. Pace returned, only to be lost for the season (torn triceps) against Seattle on Nov. 12.
Goldberg played left tackle against Carolina, but struggled, resulting in Steussie going back to left tackle Sunday against the 49ers, and former Minnesota Gopher Mark Setterstrom, a rookie, playing left guard. Setterstrom's first game on the active roster was against Carolina, when he played 10 plays for Timmerman (ribs).
Timmerman missed practice last Wednesday, but started against San Francisco, and missed one possession to rest, with Goldberg replacing him. Additionally, Incognito suffered a foot injury against the 49ers, left the game and returned, only to reinjure it. He was replaced by Brett Romberg, whose NFL experience was a grand total of one game with Jacksonville in 2004. Even Steussie left for a few plays Sunday after getting hit in his nose by a helmet, with Goldberg replacing him.
Thus, the line for the 80-yard drive that won the game — left to right — was Steussie, Setterstrom, Romberg, Timmerman, Barron.
Said Timmerman, "We had some new guys in there and we're rolling linemen a little bit. Everyone that played really did a great job. Steussie came out early. He messed up his nose, even though I didn't think you mess it up any worse. Adam (Goldberg) came in and Mark (Setterstrom) did a great job with his first start. I'm very proud of the guys."
"They did a good job," quarterback Marc Bulger said. "I had time to peek down field, and they allowed me to have time to check it down, which was big. I think all game running the ball they did well. Steven (Jackson) got over 100 yards in the first half and he played great but it was nice to have some holes for him."
Setterstrom said, "I prepared extra hard this week and worked a lot with Todd Steussie really studying the playbook. The first series there were some butterflies but after that, I thought I settled down and really started to play football."
Former Minnesotans Put Mark on Rams OL
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