After sitting out last weekend’s game against the New York Jets due to a healing quad, Steven was able to return to the practice field on Wednesday.

While it’s too early to say for sure, signs seem to be pointing toward a return for No. 39 for the Rams’ game this Sunday at San Francisco.

“Steven worked better today,’’ coach Jim Haslett said. “That’s all I can tell you. We’ll see how he is tomorrow. We’ll work him tomorrow, and then hopefully make a decision. I knew it’s a lot better, but is it good enough? I don’t know that yet.’’

Steven played at about three-quarters speed, and shared the first-team carries with backup RB Antonio Pittman. SJax hopes that within the next few days he’ll be back up to full strength. Haslett does too:

“He needs to go tomorrow, and he has to kind of open it up and go,’’ Haslett said.

Like last week, Haslett mandated that No. 39 have at least one full-tilt practice before Sunday in order to be cleared to play. Haslett also said he would most likely make a definite decision on Jackson’s status by Thursday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

For Rams fans and SJax fans, a Steven sighting at Wednesday’s practice has to be an encouraging sign.

The folks from the Turf Show Times have been impressed with Steven’s play this season, albeit limited, and are looking forward to No. 39 getting back on the gridiron soon.

“With seven more games left, he’s on pace to top [1,000 yards] again as well as better his receptions total from last season,” the Turf Show Times pointed out. “Let’s also not forget that he tried to play through an injury against the Cardinals, before he was ready, which likely contributed to him sitting out against the Jets.”

“The bottom line on Jackson is that he’s the foundation, and a good one, of the Rams offense and will be for some years to come.”

Rams’ quarterback Marc Bulger, a close friend of SJ’s, is keeping his fingers crossed for Steven’s return.

“I don’t want to say he’s 100 percent or anything like that because only he’s going to know,” Bulger said. “I think there’s a difference between practice speed and game speed, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

In the event that Steven can’t go, Kenneth Darby will likely share carries with Pittman for the bulk of the rushes. Darby had high praise for Steven, who has served as a mentor for many of team’s inexperienced backs.

“I have learned a lot from him since I have been here, so I am not going to compare myself to him because he is a great back,” Darby said.

Steven and the Rams have lost three in a row, but are looking to get back on track this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. Hopefully with SJ back in the fold, St. Louis can get back to its winning ways.

Steven Jackson practices, but hasn’t run full speed” (Ramblings, Nov. 12, 2008)
Steven Jackson practices today (Turf Show Times, Nov. 12, 2008)
Rams defer decision on Jackson (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 12, 2008),0,4028007.story