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Rams linemen return, but injuries are still a concern

Rams linemen return, but injuries are still a concern
Rams defensive end William Hayes reflects during pregame. (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

Defensive linemen Michael Brockers and William Hayes returned to action Sunday, but the Rams’ injury concerns continued after a 31-28 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

Brockers, a tackle who sat out last week because of a hip injury, left the game in the third quarter after apparently aggravating the condition.

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He had made a tackle and defended a pass.

Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner suffered a forearm injury that forced him to leave the game in the fourth quarter with a team-best 10 tackles and a pass defended.

On the play after Joyner came out, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford connected with slot receiver Golden Tate for a 23-yard touchdown.

Hayes returned after sitting out two games because of an ankle injury.

He made one tackle and had one quarterback hurry.

"I couldn't stand on the sideline another week and just watch us," he said.

End Robert Quinn remained sidelined because of a shoulder injury suffered against Arizona. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson also sat out because of an ankle injury that is expected to sideline him for several weeks.

Gurley sort of gets going

Running back Todd Gurley ran for 15 yards on the Rams' first play, and had four carries for 27 yards during a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive.

On the next series, he caught a 13-yard pass to start a drive that ended with another touchdown.

Gurley finished with 58 yards in 15 carries and caught four passes for 39 yards.

Gurley appeared poised to score a touchdown on the final play of the first half, but Lions tackle Tyrunn Walker stuffed him on fourth and goal at the one.

"They made a good play," Gurley said. "We didn't."

Feeling cornered

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Stafford took advantage of Johnson's absence, slipping passes past cornerbacks E.J. Gaines and Troy Hill for touchdowns.

Receiver Marvin Jones beat Hill in the end zone for a first-quarter touchdown. Receiver Andre Roberts beat Gaines in the end zone in the second quarter.

"It was just kind of a scramble play with everybody trying to match receivers," Gaines said. "Before I turned around, the ball was already there. I've just got to make a play on that."

Stafford completed 23 of 31 passes for 270 yards and  four touchdowns.

Tate caught eight passes for 165 yards and a touchdown.

"He was the difference in this ballgame," Rams Coach Jeff Fisher said. "I hope they give him the game ball."

Take a seat

Rookie receiver Pharoh Cooper made his debut last week against Buffalo, but he was not active Sunday.

Cooper, a fourth-round draft pick, returned a kickoff and was targeted for a pass against the Bills. The pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown.

Receiver Nelson Spruce once again was inactive. Spruce is practicing but he has not played since suffering a knee injury in the first exhibition against the Dallas Cowboys.

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