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Eleven years later, Steven Jackson poised for playoff chance with Patriots

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Former St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson is back in the NFL, signing a one-year deal with the New England Patriots on Monday.

For Jackson, it's the perfect fit at the perfect time as Patriots reporter Mike Reiss writes. After a career of almost never playing in the postseason -- the Rams made it in his rookie season in 2004 but never went back -- Jackson gets a chance to chase a Super Bowl ring in New England so long as the Patriots keep him around.

During the offseason, Jackson told me he wanted to keep playing but only if the situation was the right one. In other words, if he had a chance to win something substantial. It took almost the entire season but when the Patriots lost LeGarrette Blount to injury for the season, the right situation presented itself.

After New England played Sunday's game against Tennessee without much of a running game, adding Jackson made all the more sense.

For Rams fans, it might be a little bittersweet to see Jackson playing for a team that still draws a lot of hate for Super Bowl XXXVI, but there's no doubt that Jackson has earned a chance to have success. After all he went through with the Rams, it's good that he's finally getting it before it's too late, even if it's in a limited role.

I.C.Y.M.I.

A roundup of Monday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... We began the morning with a look at what the Rams have left to play for in 2015. ... The Ram-blings examined the effects of relocation on the team's performance. ... Receiver Stedman Bailey posted a video of himself doing some light jogging in a Miami-area hospital. ... Finally, we offered a look at the Rams with the best chance to land in the Pro Bowl.

Elsewhere:

Terrible news for the Arizona Cardinals, who lost defensive back Tyrann Mathieu for the rest of the season to a knee injury.

Here's your week 16 NFL playoff scenarios.

Mike Sando examines quarterbacks in line for new contracts after the season.

At 101sports.com, Bernie Miklasz writes that St. Louis' stadium efforts have put the NFL in a difficult position.

At stltoday.com, Ben Frederickson wonders why Los Angeles would even want these Rams under owner Stan Kroenke.

The Rams' playoff hopes were officially extinguished on Sunday.