The Rams’ best exhibition season, 3-1, in six years was not reflected in Coach John Robinson’s mood Sunday.
Linebacker George Andrews had just had knee surgery, Eric Dickerson was still holding out and Dickerson’s backup, Barry Redden, was limping on a sprained ankle.
Andrews and Redden were injured in Saturday night’s 14-13 victory over the New England Patriots. Andrews, a seventh-year pro who missed the last six games of the 1984 season after surgery on his left knee, will miss all of 1985 with the injury to his right knee.
Mike Wilcher, a second-round draft choice in 1983, will start at right outside linebacker.
“He’s playing very well,” Robinson said. “George had been playing very well, too. Looked like his old self. He was just running and the knee buckled and he went down. No one hit him.”
Redden, Robinson said, is “no better than 50-50" to open the season against the Denver Broncos at Anaheim Stadium next Sunday.
“We’ll have to see tomorrow,” Robinson said. “He walked on it today. The swelling isn’t huge. We will see what he can do tomorrow, and then it would be day to day until the weekend.”
Without Redden (or Dickerson), Robinson said, “I think we would be prepared to throw 40 times.”
Possible replacements are reserves Charles White and A. J. Jones and even Lynn Cain, who played for Robinson at USC and was released by Atlanta last week.
“I haven’t thought about it yet,” Robinson said. “I’ve talked to Lynn and he and I are going to have a conversation. He’s not certain what he wants to do.”
Robinson hasn’t discounted the return of Dickerson in time to play “if he came in by Wednesday.
“It’s critical that we try to make whatever steps we can make, and I think their side has to think the same way. Every day is a loss for all sides, and each day that loss is greater.”
Robinson said Redden’s uncertain status “might be a catalyst to (stimulate) some conversation. I think it’s crucial right now.”
Right cornerback LeRoy Irvin had to leave the game when his injured hamstring tightened up, but apparently he’ll be able to play next Sunday. . . . Guard Duval Love, a 10th-round pick from UCLA, has a shoulder injury. . . . Patriots quarterback Tony Eason passed for 318 yards but was only 2 for 16 on third-down conversions. . . . The Rams’ defense allowed only three touchdowns in the exhibition season, and the one by the Eagles at Columbus proved to be a bad officiating call.