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Rams Deny Hiding Ellard’s Injury

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ram trainer Jim Anderson said Wednesday that the team wasn’t trying to hide receiver Henry Ellard’s hamstring injury by listing him as probable for last Sunday night’s game at New Orleans.

Ellard didn’t play, setting the stage for Willie (Flipper) Anderson’s record-setting performance, 336 yards in 15 receptions.

“We weren’t trying to deceive anyone,” Jim Anderson said. “I honestly felt when he was injured (last Friday) that he could play. It was just something that tightened Sunday afternoon.”

Some suspicion was sparked by comments made after the game by receiver Anderson, who was quoted as saying that the Rams had not wanted the injury “to get public.”

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Said Anderson, the trainer: “I read it, and I don’t know why he made that statement. I didn’t know if somebody had written it to sound that way. There was nothing construed to make it a mystery.”

The NFL requires teams to file injury reports every Wednesday and Thursday.

According to league spokesman Dick Maxwell, injuries that occur after Thursday, which was the case with Ellard, must be reported to the opposing team and media. After Saturday’s practice, the Rams announced that Ellard had suffered a hamstring strain Friday and was probable for the game.

Maxwell said he discussed the matter with the Rams on Monday.

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“It would have been a more critical situation had they not said anything on Saturday,” Maxwell said. “If it was not known Saturday, we’d look into it further.”

The Rams are listing Ellard as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. Coach John Robinson said he will probably save Ellard for the divisional showdown against the San Francisco 49ers Dec. 11.


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