Steven was limited in practice Friday as expected, still nursing his strained quadriceps, but both No. 39 and his coach are still hopeful to get him on the field Sunday at New England.

“We’ll just take it day by day,” coach Jim Haslett said. “He looks better to me.”

SJax hinted that if he’s still in a significant amount of pain come game day, it might be best for him to rest this weekend to ensure he’ll be healthy for the long haul.

“Anybody can be tough with somebody else’s body,” Jackson said. “If it’s something I can let rest a week and be able to play the rest of the season without injury, you have to take that into consideration. We’re day to day on it.”

Coach Haslett has no problem with Steven’s decision either way, and reiterated that position in the media.

“It’s got to be up to him whether he feels good enough, because I’m not in his body,” Haslett said today. “A guy breaks a finger, obviously they can play. If a running back hurts his legs, it’s a little different.”

In the long run, Haslett just wants to make sure he keeps his best player on the field for as many games as possible, even if that means he’s got to let Steven sit this week.

“Me personally, I am going to err on the side of caution, and do what is best for him and do what is best for the team in the long run,’’ Haslett said. “Being an ex-player, I understand exactly what everybody is going through. I can shed a little light on it from that standpoint.&rdquo

As they monitor Steven’s situation, a number of New England players have spoken about No. 39, showing their respect for his abilities. As reported on

Bill Belichick called Jackson “one of the best and most complete backs that we will face all year.”

“Complete,” linebacker Adalius Thomas said, describing Jackson. “He catches the ball. Runs the ball hard. Fast. Physical. Powerful. Lot of gang tackling. There can’t be a lot of one-on-one tackling with him. He’s fast enough to outrun the DBs. Strong enough to run over them. So we’re going to get a lot hats to the ball.

“You just have to be more aware of where he is. A check down for 5 yards can turn into 60 yards.”

Andy Hart of Patriots Football Weekly wrote that if No. 39 plays, the Patriots had better be vigilant:

“If Jackson does play, he’s the heart of the offense. …he’s a guy the defense needs to be aware of on every snap.”

No. 39 and the Rams head to Foxboro for a showdown against the New England Patriots.

Jackson sits out again (STLtoday, Oct. 23, 2008)
Rams’ Jackson optimistic about return (, Oct. 22, 2008)
Injury update: Jackson sits out practice (Belleville News-Democrat, Oct. 23, 2008)
Meeting of momentum at Gilette (, Oct. 24, 2008)
Haslett’s Rams come in rolling (, Oct. 23, 2008)