Rams CB Bartell expects to play despite shoulder injury

ST. LOUIS -- Rams cornerback Ron Bartell expects to play this week, even if he's not fully recovered from a stinger that has sapped strength in his left shoulder.

"I'll find a way to get them down," Bartell said Wednesday. "If I've got to trip them, I'll be like the coach from the Jets."

The Rams lost 31-13 at New Orleans last Sunday without Bartell, their top coverage man. Bartell vowed Wednesday that he'd play this weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs given the Rams' playoff hopes.

St. Louis leads the NFC West at 6-7 and is playing its first meaningful December games since Bartell joined the team in 2005.

"No question at all, I'll be playing," Bartell said. "Being here six years we've never had this opportunity, so you never know if it'll come again. 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."

Bartell said he might have to wear a neck yoke to protect the injury, but he complained "that's like putting an 'X' on my back."

Donnie Jones was sent home because of illness and missed practice Wednesday, but Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo anticipated the punter would be back Thursday. Linebacker David Nixon missed practice one day after having surgery to repair a broken left hand, but he could play on special teams this weekend while wearing a cast.

Offensive guard Jacob Bell (knee bruise), running back Kenneth Darby (ribs) and cornerback Justin King (shoulder) were limited in practice. Bell was hurt near the end of last weekend's loss at New Orleans, and Darby and King didn't play.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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