The 28-year-old was a second-round pick in 2005 and has yet to play on a winning team or a playoff team during his time in St. Louis. The Rams finished second in the NFC West in Bartell's first two seasons.
So even though he is hurting, he wants to be a part of these games.
"There's tons of guys around here who are injured, hurting," Bartell said. "It's Week 15, everybody has something they're dealing with. It was more of a strength thing, going out there trying to hit and tackle and kind of leaving yourself susceptible to something bigger."
Bartell started 12 of 16 games in 2007 and started 16 games in 2008 and 15 games in 2009 before starting 10 games this season.
"I've regained some strength so it's a work in progress," Bartell said. "For as big as this game is, as big as these last three games are, it really doesn't matter how I feel. I'll be out there one way or another."