St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson is on the verge of a milestone.
Just 34 more rushing yards, and he will become the seventh player in NFL history to gain 1,000 yards in seven or more consecutive seasons. Only Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Curtis Martin, Thurman Thomas, Eric Dickerson and LaDainian Tomlinson have done it.
He’s well aware of that elite club, and identified with Thomas as a kid because both had a single bar down the middle of the face mask on the helmet.
“How much do I know about them? I have their trading cards,” Jackson said.
If he gets there on Saturday at Pittsburgh, it probably won’t be with handoffs from Sam Bradford.
Bradford hasn’t practiced the past two weeks and is likely to miss his second straight game and fourth overall with a high left-ankle sprain, leaving Kellen Clemens a virtual lock to get the call against the Steelers.
Jackson has rushed for 1,000 yards in every season except his rookie year, 2004 out of Oregon State, when he shared carries with Marshall Faulk.
“It just means I’ve been able to play at high performance regardless of injury, record or whatever,” said Jackson, already the franchise’s career rushing leader. “Just being someone that’s consistent. I kind of lay my hat on it.”
BOLDIN HAS SURGERY
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin had surgery on his knee by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., to deal with slightly torn cartilage.
Coach John Harbaugh said the veteran wideout will miss the final two weeks of the regular season and be able to return for the playoffs. The Ravens did not reveal which knee was injured.
Also, Harbaugh said former Pro Bowl placekicker Shayne Graham will kick in place of Billy Cundiff on Saturday against Cleveland.
BIG BEN SITS OUT
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sat out Thursday’s practice to rest his sprained left ankle and will be a game-time decision when the Steelers face St. Louis on Saturday.
Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said the team will wait as long as possible before determining whether Roethlisberger or veteran Charlie Batch will start.
Arians added that center Maurkice Pouncey (sprained left ankle) will be a game-time decision.
WARD’S SEASON OVER
T.J. Ward, the Cleveland Browns’ hard-hitting second-year strong safety, was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a sprained right foot, an injury coach Pat Shurmur said does not need surgery – “at this point.”
Ward started eight games before getting hurt on Nov. 6 against Houston.
PACE HIT WITH FINE
New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace was fined $15,000 by the NFL for an illegal hit on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick last Sunday that drew a roughing-the-passer penalty. Pace said he planned to appeal the fine.