Rams rookie RT Smith healthy, but veteran Goldberg to start

ST. LOUIS -- Jason Smith is healthy again, but the No. 2 overall draft pick won't start Sunday when the winless St. Louis Rams play at Jacksonville.

Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Friday that Adam Goldberg will start at right tackle, though Smith will see some playing time against the Jaguars (2-3).

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The Rams (0-5) will try to snap a 15-game losing streak, the longest in the NFL.

Smith sprained his left knee in the second quarter of a 9-7 loss at Washington on Sept. 20 and missed the next two games. He suited up for last week's 38-10 loss to Minnesota but was on the field for just two plays -- a field goal and the extra point for the Rams' touchdown.

Spagnuolo said he doesn't want to rush Smith.

"Coming off those knee injuries like Jason had, we want to make sure he's comfortable and kind of slowly work him in," Spagnuolo said. "We'll take it series by series."

Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said Smith seems to have overcome the injury.

"He's looked great moving around so far," Shurmur said. "He seems to be moving well. It looks like he's back."

Smith said he stayed in for several plays after he was hurt during the Rams' touchdown drive in the second quarter against Washington.

"It's one of those deals where you can't control some things that happen," he said. "It's one of the injuries we all pray about and hope doesn't happen."

A seven-year veteran, Goldberg is known for his versatility - he started six games at four positions last season. This will be his fourth straight start in 2009.

"The goal is just to play well when called upon," Goldberg said.

Notes: QB Kyle Boller, who sustained a concussion against Minnesota, has been cleared to play, but Marc Bulger will start for the first time since suffering a concussion in Week 3 against Green Bay. Bulger did come off the bench after Boller was hurt last week and lead St. Louis to its lone touchdown. ... Rookie Bradley Fletcher will start again at right CB over Jonathan Wade. ... DE Leonard Little and C.J. Ah You both had flulike illnesses, and team doctors sent both home. Both are listed as probable for Sunday. SS James Butler (knee) did not practice for the second straight day, and Craig Dahl will start at Jacksonville.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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