With the St. Louis Rams now two weeks away from beginning OTAs, the identity of RB Steven Jackson’s backup remains unknown. In reality, the Rams need more than just a backup, or a change of pace, as some have suggested, for what Jackson can do.
While the surgery Jackson had is considered “minor” when compared to other more serious back issues, any back surgery can be potentially serious.
Generally, the rehab process after the procedure Jackson had is about eight weeks. Dr. Rick Lehman said the problem can reoccur in about 20 percent of cases involving football players, especially a running back like Jackson that takes a lot of hits.
The Rams will likely accelerate their attempts to add another running back. There is still interest in former Philadelphia Eagles RB Brian Westbrook, who has also has injury concerns, including two concussions he suffered last season. Other free agents available include RB Justin Fargas, RB Jamal Lewis and RB Ladell Betts, but both Lewis and Betts ended the 2009 season on injured reserve, while Fargas has also had knee problems. Buffalo Bills RB Marshawn Lynch has been floated, but he gained just 450 yards last season, and has had off-field incidents.
Monitoring Jackson's progress will be at the top of 'fantasy things to do' lists this summer, especially when considering keepers. Despite not a lot wins, Jackson has still managed to put up very solid fantasy numbers - when he plays. When he doesn't play, his backup has been ineffective for the most part.