November 20, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) Defensive end Chris Long is optimistic about returning to action after being out since Oct. 11 with a broken bone in his right knee.

Long finished his first week of practice Friday since being hurt.

Fellow DE Robert Quinn, who only played 14 snaps in last week's 37-13 loss to Chicago, also was a full participant in practice after sitting out Wednesday. The Rams did not practice Thursday.

Both are listed as questionable for Sunday's game at Baltimore.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams certainly welcomes both of his pass rushers back.

''They've practiced and gotten better each day,'' Williams said of his injured ends. ''I'm a better coach when those good guys are there, which is good.''

Linebacker James Laurinaitis wants to see both Long and Quinn back playing.

''We have some guys that have filled in very nicely,'' Laurinaitis said. ''But when you have a Pro Bowler who's not in there all the time like he usually is, you're gonna notice it because he's an impact player. He's one of the best.

''You just hope that his health continues to improve, and we can get him back to where he feels that he can do the things that he always does.

''Hopefully we get Chris back.''

Long, who has two sacks this season, was hurt in the second quarter of the Rams' 24-10 loss at Green Bay. Long and Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari ran into each other on a play.

Long is blunt about having to watch rather than play.

''It's out of your control, but when you're hurt, you feel like you're letting people down,'' he said. ''You're on the sidelines, you're watching your buddies play football and that's your job, and you just feel like you're not doing your job. It's out of your control, especially two years in a row it's frustrating because they're things you can't avoid.

''They're just freak things and I'm going to keep pushing, trying to help this team and do my part, and I'm just excited to be back and help this team.''

Long missed 10 games last season after undergoing ankle surgery following an injury in the opener against Minnesota. The surgery repaired two torn tendons.

That game was Long's 97th in a row; he didn't miss a game during his first six NFL seasons. Now Long has missed 13 of his last 23 games.

William Hayes and Eugene Sims have been playing in Long's spot.

If coach Jeff Fisher makes the call, Long will play against the Ravens.

''I want to help the team when I can. I feel good. It's my first week of practice and I'm very happy with where I am. But it's all up to coach Fish,'' Long said.

''I'll take a fracture over a torn ligament. Other than being rusty, I feel good.''

Long was playing well before he was hurt, Williams said.

''He has a great presence,'' Williams said. ''Guys love playing with him because they know how hard he plays all the time. He was playing very physical until he got hurt.''

Quinn played mostly on third downs last week after returning from a one-game absence due to a knee injury, his first injury in the NFL that sidelined him. In his first five games, Quinn had 17 tackles, four sacks and three forced fumbles. However, since his injury against Green Bay, Quinn has two tackles and one sack.

''I'm trying to get myself back to feeling 100 percent as fast as possible,'' Quinn said. ''Until then, Eugene (Sims) and Matt (Longacre) are going to step up. I'm going to do what I can to get back out there.''

Dealing with an injury is something the two-time Pro Bowler does not want to experience again.

''Knock on wood, hopefully I can go another five years before I get another one,'' Quinn said. ''You get injuries, you deal with them. It's the NFL. It's a sport of collisions; it's bound to happen eventually.''

NOTES: OT Rob Havenstein (calf) is listed as doubtful. If he can't go, rookies Cody Wichmann or Andrew Donnal may get the start. ... RB Benny Cunningham (finger) is listed as questionable. C Tim Barnes (concussion) is listed as probable.


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