Carriker back with Rams, but starting DT job isn't guaranteed, coach says

ST. LOUIS -- Rams defensive tackle Adam Carriker is back at practice after suffering an ankle injury, but the 2007 first-round draft pick is working with the third-string defense, at least for now.

Carriker injured his left ankle -- the same one that bothered him last season -- during a scrimmage Aug. 7. He returned to individual drills Monday, then resumed working out with the team Tuesday and Wednesday.

Gary Gibson and Clifton Ryan are the Rams' first-team tackles for now. Gibson, 27, was signed as a free agent in April after two seasons in Carolina, where he played in 12 games with no starts. Ryan has started 12 of 32 career games, all with the Rams.

First-year Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said Carriker, the 13th overall selection in 2007, might play in Thursday's preseason game at Cincinnati, but his starting job isn't guaranteed.

"I think Adam will have his work cut out for him, but he's a good football player," Spagnuolo said. "Everybody has to earn jobs right now, and in our opinion at the stage we are at -- we said this a long time ago -- it is the land of opportunity right now.

"We'll let everybody battle it out and we'll see what happens by the time we get to Seattle."

The Rams open the regular season Sept. 13 against the NFC West rival Seahawks.

Carriker said he isn't unhappy with his current role.

"We have a lot of talent on the D-line," he said. "I need to get back out on the field, get back into the flow of things and start playing well."


[ Edited by 9erfanAUS on Aug 26, 2009 at 8:41 PM ]