Rams rookie Joyner looking forward to playing

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Lamarcus Joyner has had an up-and-down season. The Rams' rookie cornerback is hoping it ends more on an up note.

Joyner, the 41st overall pick in the draft, will see action Sunday in St. Louis' finale against Seattle (11-4) because fellow rookie cornerback E.J. Gaines is listed as doubtful with a concussion. Gaines, a sixth-round selection, got hurt last week against the New York Giants. He has not practiced this week.

"This season has gone by real fast and that's why you can't take nothing for granted," Joyner said Friday after practice at Rams Park. "Easy come, easy go. I think my rookie year has gone exactly as I expected."

"I've matured and I've learned a lot of new things," he said. "I've grown a lot. It's not been easy. I've learned to be humble."

In eight games, Joyner has 44 tackles, including a season-high 11 against Kansas City. Joyner also has three pass breakups and one quarterback pressure. However, he was set back by a groin injury in the Rams' Nov. 9 loss to Arizona.

And Gaines took his spot — and kept it.

Joyner was sidelined three weeks because of the injury. Then he was a healthy scratch then next two games before getting to play for St. Louis (6-8) last week against the Giants.

Gregg Williams, the defensive coordinator, remains upbeat about Joyner and his future.

"He's done very well," Williams said. "He's come on and he's battled through some injuries and hopefully we'll get a chance to see him play a little bit this week."

Rams coach Jeff Fisher remains a big Joyner backer, too. He noted Gaines simply played well enough to stay on the field.

"He's going to be an outstanding player on our defense," Fisher said. "E.J. did a great job in relief and while he was down, he's (Joyner) paid attention."

Joyner is ready to test himself against the Seahawks.

"That's the nature of the game," Joyner said. "You've got to make the most of your opportunities."

NOTES: Receiver Brian Quick spoke to the media for the first time since he dislocated a shoulder and tore the rotator cuff in the Oct. 26 game against Kansas City. Quick was leading the Rams in receiving yards before he was hurt. Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery in Pensacola, Florida. Quick said the surgery went well and he is looking to be back by training camp. ... The Rams practiced outdoors in sunshine with the temperature in the mid-50s. ... DE Chris Long did not practice but it was not injury related. C Scott Wells (back) and CB Janoris Jenkins (back) both returned to practice. All three are listed as probable for Sunday.


Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP\_NFL

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