Though he remains frustrated by his inability to return to the gridiron this Sunday, Steven said he is pleased with how his recovery is coming along of late.

“I feel really good,’’ said Jackson, who already has been ruled as out for the Chicago Bears this weekend. “Not traveling with the team (last Sunday at San Francisco) and being able to stay back and rehab, even up to today, has really helped the leg calm down a lot.

“It feels really good, so from my understanding we’re going to try to run Saturday, try to get a good, tough workout in, and then back off on Sunday and see how it reacts. That’s the game plan as of now.’’

No. 39 plans to get back to practice next week and is hopeful that he’ll be ready for the Rams’ game against the Miami Dolphins next Sunday. Still, SJ is being cautious, both with his thigh and his words.

“My goal right now is just to be able to get back on the field and go from there,’’ Jackson said. “(I’m) staying with game plans, preparing as if playing. Mentally, I’m still sharp. I just want to get out there, get in a full week of practice for Coach (Jim) Haslett and go from there in the last five games.’’

However, even if SJax runs full-go at practice next week, don’t be surprised to see continue to proceed with caution before making his return.

“If anything I’ve learned from this injury, it’s when I feel good, maybe I should give it another day or two,’’ Jackson said.

Though he’s not able to show out on the field right now, Steven still considers himself the best back in the league, and wants to convince the rest of the NFL. That’s why he’s going to do anything and everything he can to get healthy.

“I’m definitely open to explore all doors or all different types of training,” Jackson said. “I want to be the best at my position and I want to be on the best team in the National Football League, and I hopefully want to lead the St. Louis Rams to the Super Bowl.”

And while it’s possible that the Rams will explore other options at running back during the offseason as an insurance policy, SJax still believes he will be the team’s one (and only) feature back.

“You can bring in any running back and I’m going to beat him out, and I’m not going to share my carries,” Jackson said. “I understand they have to have an insurance policy, but that’s just my mentality.”

On Thursday, Rams coach Jim Haslett wondered whether Steven’s contract situation had contributed to his health this season.

Steven responded with the kind of thoughtfulness his fans have come to expect, explaining that there was no relationship between the two.

Given the physicality of the NFL, No. 39 says injuries are just a natural occurrence of the game.

“I think the football season is long and gruesome and you have freak injuries like this,” said Jackson. “This injury wasn’t from any hit, it was just that my muscle gave way. I asked the doctor, ‘Is there anything I can do to prevent it in the future?’ He said, ‘No, it’s just one of those things that you’ve got to rehab it correctly.”’

In response to the suggestion for the need for a nutritionist, SJ said jokingly:

“I think Mama Jackson does a good job."

Later, he said he would be willing to explore any dietary suggestions anyone had for him and his teammates.

Jackson takes issue with Haslett (Belleville News-Democrat, Nov. 21, 2008)
Steven Jackson will test out his injured thigh on Saturday (Ramblings, Nov. 20, 2008)
Rams Jackson says holdout no factor (, Nov. 20, 2008)—Jackson-says-holdout-no-factor.html 
Haslett says Jackson injury stems… (Belleville News-Democrat, Nov. 20, 2008)
Haslett: Jackson injury related to holdout (IHT, Nov. 20, 2008)