Rams Defense Dealing With Injuries

ST. LOUIS — The Rams will head to New Orleans on Sunday with a defense that is dealing with injuries.

St. Louis (6-6) lost starting strong-side linebacker Na'il Diggs to a season-ending pectoral injury he suffered in Sunday's win at Arizona.

On Wednesday, two of the players not able to participate in practice were starting safety Oshiomogho Atogwe and Ron Bartell, the team's top cornerback. Both are dealing with shoulder injuries.

"If we're going to have a chance to win this game, we have to play our best football on the back end and me and O.J. are a big part of that," Bartell said. "It's still early in the week. No need to panic. But health is a concern for the secondary right now. We're both gonna do everything we can to be out there on Sunday. If we're able to get out there, fine, if not we have guys that are definitely capable of stepping up and making plays."

Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said on Wednesday that cornerback Justin King was also dealing with a shoulder injury. Rookie cornerback Jerome Murphy missed the last game with a hamstring injury he suffered in practice next week.

The Rams will need as many of those players available on Sunday.

The Saints (9-3), who have won five straight games, are third in the NFL in yardage (389.4 per game) and passing yardage (290.9) and eighth in scoring (24.9). New Orleans is 25th in rushing yardage (98.5).

"A lot of weapons," Spagnuolo said. "It starts with the quarterback. The other thing that I think goes overlooked is their offensive line is solid. They've been there for a while. They all know each other. They know the system. Got good coaching. It makes it tough."

Quarterback Drew Brees has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,634 yards, with 25 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, with a QB rating of 94.6. Wideout Marques Colston has caught 71 passes for 875 yards and five touchdowns.

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