Rams' Jackson hopes to be ready
ST. LOUIS - The Rams are optimistic Steven Jackson will have a larger workload this week. Jackson has been hobbled by a strained quadriceps muscle. He was hurt on the Rams' first play of the season against Philadelphia. "I've been able to practice all week, so that's having things go in the right direction," Jackson said. "I'll be out there on Sunday." The Rams' captain scored a touchdown on that 47-yard run but he pulled up as he crossed the goal line. He had one more carry in that game — for nine yards — and didn't play in the second game against the Giants.Jackson saw limited time against the Ravens, who left St. Louis with a 37-7 victory that kept the Rams winless. He carried four times for 23 yards. CHARGERS: Running back Ryan Mathews missed practice Thursday because of an injured left foot. Mathews plans to practice today and thinks he'll be ready to go Sunday against the Dolphins. Mathews had limited work Wednesday. Also sitting out were defensive end Jacques Cesaire (knee), receivers Vincent Jackson (abdomen) and Malcom Floyd (groin), cornerback Quentin Jammer (hamstring) and tight end Antonio Gates (foot). The likelihood of Gates playing has decreased significantly. COWBOYS: Quarterback Tony Romo is enjoying his two weeks of reputation rehab after consecutive wins. His body is feeling better, too. Romo broke a rib and punctured a lung in a Week 2 win over San Francisco, and he played last week in a gritty win over Washington. Romo says he is feeling better as Dallas prepares to host Detroit on Sunday. "Each two or three days that goes by it just keeps getting better," Romo said Thursday. "I think it's improving." Romo practiced Thursday, but receivers Dez Bryant (thigh) and Miles Austin (hamstring) and kicker David Buehler (groin) did not. EAGLES: Coach Andy Reid and defensive coordinator Juan Castillo have shaken up the linebacking lineup, this time benching rookie fourth-round pick Casey Matthews and replacing him at weakside outside linebacker with rookie Brian Rolle. GIANTS: With two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Tuck battling a groin issue and a persistent neck injury, Osi Umenyiora could not have picked a better time to get back into the lineup. The 29-year Umenyiora, who tied an NFL record with 10 forced fumbles last season, practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day, and it appears the two-time Pro Bowler will play for the first time this season when the Giants play at Arizona on Sunday. JETS: Cornerback Antonio Cromartie returned to the practice field, participating in a limited role and returning punts four days after suffering a bruised lung and ribs. Center Nick Mangold was also in full uniform for the first time since suffering a high right ankle sprain against Jacksonville two weeks ago. He warmed up with the team before working with trainers.