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Notebook : White Comes Back, Will Wait His Turn

<i> Times Staff Writer</i>

Tailback Charles White, who spent the last month on the league’s substance-abuse inactive list, made his long-awaited return to the Ram lineup Sunday.

It wasn’t a day to remember for White as on-field statistics go. White entered the game with 8:40 remaining, the Rams well ahead, 33-0. He left shortly thereafter, with no carries.

But White said afterward that he was just happy to be back in uniform. Forget the yards; those will come, he said.

“After sitting there and watching for four weeks and not being able to be part of the team, that’s hard,” he said. “This is part of getting back into the routine again. That’s what I felt like I had to do: Get back into the routine.

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“I think John (Robinson) just wants to ease me back into it.”

Robinson eased him in, all right. Part of the problem, and a happy one at that for the Rams, was the performance of White’s replacement, Greg Bell, who rushed for 155 yards Sunday. And rookie Gaston Green was good for 61 rushing yards.

“Well, I was going to play Charlie (Sunday),” Robinson said. “I was trying to get him back in the action. But there’s something about putting a player of his caliber in late in the game. Almost subconsciously you think that you expose them more to injury. He wanted to get in the game and take a few hits, but he’ll be back in the hunt next week certainly and play an important role.”

Said White: “I hope so. But you never know what’s going to happen the following week. But I hope to get back into it.”

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Tough day for Falcon quarterback (and former Ram) Steve Dils. Dils completed 8 of 21 passes for 100 yards. He was sacked 6 times and threw an interception.

“I didn’t throw the ball well and their defense played well,” said Dils, who was acquired on waivers shortly before the season began. “Everybody felt we were getting better before this game, and this isn’t what we needed. (The Rams) do a good job rushing the passer and on third and long, it’s tough no matter who you play.

“I was ready to play today and understood what I had to do, but it’s a mystery why I couldn’t have done what I wanted. We had some guys open early and I just didn’t get the ball to them.”

Dils won’t have to worry about it much longer. Injured starter Chris Miller is expected back in the next game or two.


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