Steven Jackson appeared to be benched by Rams coach Jeff Fisher after incurring an unsportsmanlike penalty during the second quarter of St. Louis’ game against Washington, but we learned after the game that Jackson sat because of a groin injury.
Jackson was stopped for no gain at the 1 on a third-and-1 play in the second quarter and thought he got in. He spiked the ball in disgust, and was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. The penalty brought the Rams back to the 16 and took away their option to go for the touchdown. They settled for a field goal to make the score 14-6.
Replays appeared to show that Jackson got the ball across the goal line, so he definitely had a reason to be upset with the referees:
Fisher missed an opportunity to challenge that play — he likely would have won it.
Rookie running back Daryl Richardson replaced Jackson on the next series and for the rest of the game. The 7th-round pick from Abilene Christian ran well and the Rams offense started putting together points — scoring 25 without Jackson in the game.
Richardson finished with 15 carries for 83 yards and 19 yards on two catches, but he lost a fumble with under three minutes left that nearly cost the Rams the game. Jackson had 9 carries for 58 yards and didn’t play after the penalty.
Even though the TV announcers said Jackson was not injured — leading us to write that Jackson had been benched — we later learned that Jackson stood on the sidelines for the remainder of the game with a strained groin.
The Rams wrote on Twitter that Jackson “said in locker room that it’s not too bad and should heal quickly.”
Jackson’s groin injury may result in more carries for Richardson in the future.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this post said Jackson was benched for his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.Google+