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News » Hill will not be back this season Cornerback goes on injured reserve list

Hill will not be back this season Cornerback goes on injured reserve list

Hill will not be back this season Cornerback goes on injured reserve list
Tye Hill is out for the season, and Corey Chavous is out of the starting lineup for the Rams.

Hill had missed the past nine games of this season following arthroscopic knee surgery. And with the knee still bothering Hill, the Rams decided to put him on the injured reserve list Tuesday.

"He's still rehabbing," said Billy Devaney, the Rams' executive vice president of player personnel. "It's going to be probably another couple weeks before he has a chance to even get back out there.

"So at this point rather than push it, we thought this was the best thing for Tye and for us. The best thing for him is just to start the total rehab process, and get ready for next year. And it frees up a spot to take a look at a guy that we kind of monitored during the season."

That would be cornerback Quincy Butler, who was claimed off waivers from Dallas. Butler, 6-1, 185 pounds, played his college ball at Texas Christian. Signed by the Cowboys as a rookie free agent in 2006, he spent the entire 2006 and 2007 seasons on the Dallas practice squad.

This season, Butler has been all over the place. He has spent time with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League and the New Orleans Saints practice squad, and he was on the Cowboys' active roster before being released and claimed by St. Louis.

"He can run a little bit," Devaney said. "We're looking for some bigger people across the board. I know this: They've got some talented people in the secondary at Dallas."

Meanwhile, team sources said that Chavous will be replaced in the starting lineup at strong safety by Todd Johnson in this Sunday's game against Seattle. Barring injury, Johnson will start the final three games of the season.

Chavous, a defensive captain, is one of the most respected Rams in the locker room. A tough, hard-nosed player, he's tied for third on the team in tackles with 85. But four weeks shy of his 33rd birthday, Chavous doesn't run as he once did, and his lack of speed has been a problem in coverage. Johnson is by no means a burner, but he has better range than Chavous. Although not as strong in the box as Chavous, Johnson is a willing tackler and normally a sure tackler.

Johnson missed Games 7 and 8 this season because of a bruised kidney. Since joining the Rams in 2007 as a free agent, he has been one of the team's top special teams players. He led the Rams in special teams tackles a year ago with 23 and is tied for second this year (12 tackles) even with those two missed games.

Over the past two weeks, the Rams have begun to work Johnson in on defense. He had two tackles on defense Nov. 30 against Miami, and recorded five tackles and one quarterback pressure this past Sunday against Arizona.

"It's just fun to get out there and play," Johnson said after the Arizona game. "Obviously, we wish we were playing a little better, but I felt pretty comfortable."

As for Hill, he becomes the 10th Rams player - and third cornerback - to go on the injured reserve list this year. (The other cornerbacks on IR are rookie Justin King and Ricky Manning Jr.)

A first-round draft pick out of Clemson in 2006, Hill had a decent rookie season, playing in all 16 games, intercepting three passes, and making Pro Football Weekly's all-rookie team. But injuries struck last season. He missed four games in September and October of 2007 with a lower back injury, then suffered a season-ending wrist injury in the Rams' Game 12 victory over Atlanta.

This season, Hill appeared only in the first four games. He suffered torn cartilage in his right knee defending a deep route midway through the first quarter Sept. 28 against Buffalo and hasn't played since.

Despite another injury-plagued season, Devaney said the team isn't giving up on Hill.

"The only thing I think that's held Tye back are these injuries," Devaney said. "That's something that we have to deal with. His first year, Tye was showing a lot of promise. We still have high hopes for Tye."


Tuesday's MRI exam on linebacker Gary Stills, the team's leading special teams tackler, showed bone chips in his knee. Stills will be rested this week in practice. If he can't go Sunday, recently signed linebacker Larry Grant will make his Rams debut on special teams against Seattle.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 10, 2008

Eric Moore Name: Eric Moore
Position: DE
Age: 27
Experience: 4 years
College: Florida State
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