The road hasn’t been kind to the Rams (4-6) in recent years. St. Louis is 0-4 on the road this season, has lost its last seven away from the Edward Jones Dome and has just one road win in its last 17 games.
But the Broncos and Cardinals, both 3-7, have struggled. And a win on Sunday keeps the Rams in the competition for the NFC West divisional title with the Seattle Seahawks.
“It puts us right back in the hunt of things, with still having three divisional games coming up later this season for us,” Jackson said on Wednesday. “You have to win. You have to continue to win to put ourselves in a position to win a division. Starting this week, I think it’s really important for us to try to get this road win and kind of put it behind us going forward into the season.”
The Broncos have struggled defensively this season but have one of the best passing offenses in the NFL with quarterback Kyle Orton (3,023 passing yards, 17 touchdowns) and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (54 receptions for 1,046 yards and seven touchdowns). Denver is fourth in the NFL in passing yards per game (284.1).
The Seahawks (5-5) have their next two games at home at Qwest Field, against the Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) and Carolina Panthers (1-9).
RAMS GETTING HEALTHIER
The Rams go into Sunday’s game at Denver with a mostly-healthy 53-man roster. The only players limited in practice this week, according to the official injury report, were wide receiver Danario Alexander (knee) and punter Donnie Jones (left calf).
“The one thing I think we do forget, we have lost some guys to injured reserve that could still really be helping us, so I don’t lose sight of that,” Spagnuolo told reporters on Thursday. “But for the guys that are on the 53, yeah, we’re starting to get guys back. Knock on wood, because I want to make sure…we don’t want to lose anybody going forward, but you need to be healthy in November and December to really have any chance of winning.”
The Rams have put 10 players on injured reserve this season, including wide receivers Donnie Avery and Mark Clayton and defensive tackles Clifton Ryan and Chris Hovan. Five of the 10 players on I.R. are rookies.
ALEXANDER “QUESTIONABLE” FOR SUNDAY
Alexander, the rookie wide receiver from the University of Missouri, was limited in practice all week but showed signs he may return on Sunday.
“He did a nice job all week,” Spagnuolo told reporters following Friday’s practice. “We hope we’ll have him. I can’t say that will happen yet. I’ve got to look at the 45, I’ve got to look to make sure he’s healthy. (Head athletic trainer) Reggie (Scott) always gets me. He goes in after practice, ‘How is it? Is there any swelling?’ Then we go from there. So knock on wood, hopefully we’ll be OK and we’ll decide on Sunday what we’re going to do.”
The Rams have only had four wide receivers available in recent weeks — Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson, Laurent Robinson and Mardy Gilyard — and Robinson has been working his way back from a toe injury.