Rams' Jackson misses practice, day to day with groin injury

ST. LOUIS -- Acupuncture helped Steven Jackson's groin strain feel better, but it didn't get him back on the practice field.

One day after reporting on Twitter that he had undergone acupuncture treatment, the two-time Pro Bowl running back was relegated to off-the-field exercises Wednesday.

Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo believed Jackson, who speaks with media on Thursdays, was improved but would be day to day.

"I trust Steven -- I have all along," Spagnuolo said. "We want to make sure we don't push it."

Free safety Oshiomoghe Atogwe (thigh) and defensive tackle Clifton Ryan (migraines) also were held out, and strong safety Craig Dahl (concussion) returned after missing Sunday's victory over the Washington Redskins.

Spagnuolo was impressed that the glow of victory for a team that went 1-15 last season carried over to the first practice.

"I told them I'd like them to bottle that up so it's like that every Wednesday," the coach said. "My point to them is it doesn't matter what happens on Sunday, all Wednesdays have to be like that.

"I think they got the point."

If Jackson can't go this weekend against the Seattle Seahawks, Kenneth Darby likely would make his first NFL start. Darby has been an infrequent contributor since signing with the Rams in 2008, but he scored the go-ahead touchdown against the Redskins on a 12-yard run.

Darby seemed more confident during the team's open locker-room session and was preparing as if he'd start.

"My week is the same, nothing's changed," Darby said. "Before all this happened, I always took each week, each day of practice, as if I was going to start, even though I knew it may not happen."

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Darby even has a touchdown dance in mind the next time he gets to the end zone, something to do with a shark.

"I really haven't had too many highlights in the NFL," said Darby, a former University of Alabama star. "I had a lot in college, but (the touchdown) is my No. 1 in the NFL.

"I've got a lot more to come, though."

Chauncey Washington, a running back signed off the New York Jets' practice squad Tuesday night, could be pressed into duty this week. But Spagnuolo said it was more likely that Washington would help first on special teams, on which the Rams (1-2) have been hit hard by injuries.

Washington was among the featured players on HBO's "Hard Knocks" series, which this summer profiled the Jets' training camp. He reminded media that he also was a star in college after being part of USC's 2003 recruiting class, along with Reggie Bush and LenDale White.

"I think I was famous before that," Washington said, speaking of the television series. "Maybe you guys didn't know me, but on the West Coast I'm famous."

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll knows firsthand. He coached Washington at USC.

"I've watched him since he was about 14 or 15 years old grow up as a running back, and he's always been a natural, instinctive guy with good toughness and big-play ability," Carroll said. "I know he had a good camp with the Jets playing behind some really good players, and this opportunity is great for Chauncey."

The other backup running back, Keith Toston, played with a sprained shoulder most of the way against the Redskins. Spagnuolo said he watched game film a second time and couldn't tell that Toston was playing hurt.

"It's nothing that's going to slow me down by any means," Toston said. "Come Sunday, you won't know anything is wrong."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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