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Bailey fined for ‘sleeping’ on the job

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EARTH CITY, Mo. – St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey was fined for going to the ground and using the ball as a prop during the Rams’ 24-22 win over the Cardinals Sunday. Bailey scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Foles in the third quarter that gave the team a 17-9 lead.

He then went to the ground and momentarily laid his head on the ball as if it was a pillow.

Usually, fines aren’t known until later in the week, but Bailey let the world know on Twitter. He wrote, “Ahhhhhh #NFL Fines suck!!!!! I meant no harm by what I did.”

Rams head coach Jeff Fisher wasn’t pleased with what Bailey did and said Monday it was fortunate he wasn’t penalized. He also said he had already spoken to Bailey about it.

Explaining the reasoning behind what he did, Bailey said, “I just feel like at times a lot of guys around just sleep on me. So you know I just wanted to let ’em know they need to wake up.”

Wide receiver Tavon Austin said, “I don’t know what he was doing on the ground. Probably using the football as a pillow on the ground over there. I can’t celebrate with him, so I let him do his thing – get his Zs – and then he popped right up. He went to sleep for a little bit, but he woke up.”

Said defensive end William Hayes, “It was different, man. I wasn’t expecting that at all but it was pretty clever. I don’t care what he does as long as he keeps putting that ball in the end zone. He can go to sleep every week.”

Count on Bailey not doing it again. Not only would the 15-yard penalty likely be the result, a fine would be higher for being a repeat offender.

–Early in the fourth quarter Sunday with the Rams leading 17-15, running back Todd Gurley exploded for 52 yards, moving the ball from the Rams’ 32-yard line to the Arizona 16. On the next play, the Rams ended up being penalized for delay of game.

It turns out the delay occurred because too many players got a bit exuberant reacting to Gurley’s big play.

Said head coach Jeff Fisher, “His first big run, the one that broke out, it became a problem and I had to address it with the team because they acted like it was a touchdown. Everybody ran on the field and celebrated and we couldn’t get the personnel group and substitutes in. We had a delay of game. It was a boost, but it was also a good lesson to be learned from the standpoint of expect big plays. Let’s get on the ball and finish the drive. They were just all excited. Todd’s big first run. We were trying to get players in the game and trying to get things communicated to Nick (Foles) and we ended up running out of time.”

The positive of the play was that Gurley stayed in the game and didn’t need a breather. Late in the quarter, when the Rams got the ball on their own 44-yard line with 1:44 to play, Gurley carried the ball on four straight plays. The first was for 20 yards, and the final one for 30 that iced the game.

Speaking of Gurley’s endurance, considering it was his second NFL game after coming back from a torn ACL, Fisher said, “I think what everyone expected, was after he broke the first long one where we had the celebration and the delay, that you expected to see Tre (Mason) go in and he said he was fine. He goes, ‘No I’m going. I’m going to finish this drive.’ That’s a really good indication of where he is right now.”

Fisher said he’s been impressed with Gurley “from day one.” He said, “He’s learned the offense. He knows exactly what to do. Learning hasn’t been a problem. Work load has not a problem. He’s done all of the extra things. He’s that complete back. That’s the reason we drafted him, because we knew he was like that. All of the information we got out of the University of Georgia was all true. This is the kind of young man that he is. He’s a real pro.”

In Tuesday’s practice, Gurley worked without a knee brace and said he will see how he feels without it this week.

Notes: Safety Maurice Alexander, who was inactive for Sunday’s game against Arizona because of a groin injury, did not practice Wednesday. … Running back Chase Reynolds and defensive end Eugene Sims, who both have been out since suffering a knee injury in the season opener against Seattle, were full participants in practice Wednesday.


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