First-round pick to start for St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Rams first-round pick Adam Carriker, a defensive tackle, will start in the team's opening preseason game on Friday at Minnesota.

"He will be playing with the (starters) as if he was there last year or the last 10 years," coach Scott Linehan said Tuesday.

Linehan said that Carriker probably will play more than the rest of the first unit because he needs time to get comfortable at nose tackle, a new position. Carriker was a defensive end at Nebraska.

St. Louis is leaning on a number of veteran defensive linemen, including La'Roi Glover, Leonard Little and James Hall, to help Carriker.

"The veterans have latched onto him," Linehan said. "He knows he needs to earn his stripes and better listen."

The game will give new punter Donnie Jones a chance to work indoors for the first time this week. The team moved practices indoors on Monday due to extreme heat and all of Jones' work has been outside because of a low roof in the indoor facility.

"This week hasn't helped him, but we worked outside last night," Linehan said.

Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa will play his first game since multiple upper-body injuries landed him on injured reserve before the end of last season.

"He basically had one arm for a lot of the games when he was playing after he broke his hand and his shoulder came out, so he really wasn't able to use it," Linehan said. "I don't think our defense was the same when he eventually came out for good."

The preseason opener will afford Tinoisamoa to ease any doubts.

"You can't really wait until you play the first regular season game to go out and play full speed, because you don't want to go into that game finding out if you are ready or not," Linehan said. "I think that's the benefit of the preseason, to get yourself back and get yourself game-ready."

Glover is expected to play despite a sore hip flexor after getting limited work the last few days.

"He's probably gone even more than we thought he would at this point, just because he is trying to get himself ready to go and ready to play," Linehan said. "He's one of those guys you dont worry about."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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