St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo took some heat early this offseason for replacing the team's longtime trainer.
The new trainer, Reggie Scott, was hired from the Carolina Panthers in part to create an atmosphere and trust level that would more fully engage players to rehabilitate at the Rams' facility during the offseason. Panthers receiver Steve Smith and former Panthers defensive end Julius Jones recommended Scott highly as a trainer who made players feel comfortable. Spagnuolo alluded to that subject Tuesday when telling reporters he expected most of the team's injured -- notably running back Steven Jackson -- to participate in training camp from the beginning.
"I think Reggie and his group did a great, tremendous job in the offseason here, this break," Spagnuolo told reporters. "These guys were in here working."
The team might proceed somewhat cautiously with Jackson, at least for a while. The Pro Bowl runner underwent back surgery after suffering a herniated disk.
"He’s somewhat cleared to go," Spagnuolo said. "We want the doctors to look at him one more time, but he feels great. Probably, only because it’s a back, we’ll tread lightly. But I think he’ll do most everything."
Spagnuolo said the Rams would "be smart about it" when determining how much Jackson would play during the exhibition season. The Rams are hopeful that injured players Roger Allen, Oshiomogho Atogwe, Daniel Fells, Bradley Fletcher, Jason Smith, Jacob Bell, Chris Massey and Rodger Saffold will be healthy enough to practice.