Rams Press Conference

Posted Jul 21, 2006

With training camp under a week away, the future of Marshall Faulk is now clear...

The Rams are now planning for life after Marshall Faulk.
   A saga that has lasted the entire off-season is now headed for closure with the not unexpected result that Faulk will have additional surgery next week on a problem knee. Faulk had surgery in February on both knees, but one didn't respond as doctors hoped.
   This surgery, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday, will be a reconstruction and Faulk would need an estimated 8-12 months of rehabilitation, making it seem unlikely he would play again.
   However, coach Scott Linehan said "retirement hasn't been discussed," and that Faulk "is still a Ram," while acknowledging that Faulk won't play this season. Linehan added that Faulk "has to come to terms with whether he wants to try and play again."
   That leaves open the question of how the Rams will deal with Faulk and his $2 million base salary for this season, which includes a $100,000 reporting bonus.
   "It's still TBD, to be determined, right now," a club official told espn.com. "The guy has been a great player here, and you want to treat this with some (sensitivity)."
   Faulk could retire, which would result in him forfeiting his salary for the season. He could still be reinstated next year if he was ready to play again. The Rams could release him with the designation failed physical, but they don't seem inclined to do that.
   A compromise would be for the two sides to agree to reduce Faulk's pay to the minimum salary of $810,000 this season and be placed on reserve/physically unable to perform (PUP) or for the Rams to continue paying him $2 million and also place him on PUP.
   However the club decides to handle the business side of the situation, they still have to deal with the reality of having a lack of depth at running back.
   "Now we have to consider some things and look at options if there are any," Linehan said. "When you lose a player like Marshall, you can't replace him. Depth will be a lot different. Everyone has to step up and take on a higher role."
   Tony Fisher is currently the backup to starter Steven Jackson, but Fisher was signed to help as a third-down back and be instrumental on special teams.
   "Fish can do it. He's done it," Linehan said. "But (to have be No. 2) would certainly affect the special teams."
   Linehan couldn't comment specifically about players on other teams, like Michael Bennett of the Saints, but a player like Bennett, Linehan said, is "the type of back we'd be looking at."

Related Stories
NFL News & Notes - 7/11/06
 -by NorthwestFootball.net  Jul 11, 2006
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 -by GridIronGateway.com  Sep 1, 2006
Will Faulk Stay or Will He Go?
 -by GridIronGateway.com  Mar 4, 2006

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